Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram
IMG_7330
Loving Math {how I set up my math block}
23 Jan, 2014. 17 Comments. A Day In First Grade, February, First Grade, First Grade Math, Math. Posted By: Kristen Smith
My students are always super excited when a new month rolls in and we start playing a new set of math bins. This month was no different. Now, I know that we haven’t technically started February yet but… I’ll be honest, was getting a little sick of January. It was fun while it lasted but now we are happily totally engaged in some SUPER fun new math bins. 
Over the next few weeks we are learning and reviewing a few concepts: fact fluency with addition and subtraction, shape attributes, geometry, measuring, double digit addition, and missing addends. To make this fun, I created a few new math bins to help my students really get these concepts and have a blast while they are practicing them. 
Here’s a sneak peak:
During my math time we are VERY busy. I tried to take a few pictures to show you just what it looks like during my math block. During this time I meet with 6 Guided Math groups and have 6 “stations” going on at all times. 
My stations include: 
Guided Math {with me}
Math Bin #1
iPads
Math Books
Math Bin #2
Math Journal
My students spend 10 minutes at each station and rotate during our block. {I teach a whole group mini lesson before this rotation starts.}
I store my math bins in a shoe rack and in shoe boxes. Right now they are decked out for February. I store everything that my students need for the specific Math Bin inside these shoe boxes. I got the shoe rack and the plastic show boxes at Target.
I change out the manipulatives in the shoe boxes {approximately} every month. This keeps my students engaged and excited to use their Math Bins. This month they are LOVING  these additions. 
 
To walk you through a rotation, here is what it would look like. This week we are working on 2D shape attributes. In Guided Math with me {on the day that I took these pictures} we were using an activity from Reagan’s hands on common core math pack. {This is also one of my math bins this week. Once everyone has played it with me, it will become a game that they can play independently.} 
 During our ten minute mini lesson, we discussed shape attributes and followed the task cards to manipulate our shapes.
While my groups were with me, another group was reading math books and another group was playing specific math apps on our ipads. I have two ipads in my classroom and created a “folder” of MATH games. During our Math block, they can ONLY play these games. Right now they are working on a few shape games and the subitizing tree. {They are loving these!}
Since our focus this week is shapes, one of my math bins is focused entirely on shapes and shape attributes. This game is called “Roll To Win.” 
To play, my students put the white mat in between them and each choose a cube color out of the robot bag. 
They then roll the two dice and add up the numbers. Then they can cover a shape on the mat that has the same number of sides as the sum they rolled. For example, this child rolled a 4 so he could cover any shape that has four sides.
As they play, if they roll a number that they have already rolled they can “lock in their spot” on the playing mat by putting another block on top of their first block. If their cube is NOT locked, if the other player rolls the same number, they can knock off the block and put their block down instead. 
They LOVE this game! 
Another group of my students were also working on their math journals. This is also from one of Reagan’s packs. Her winter math journal pack is PERFECT during my math block. My students learn so much as they complete their tasks and the notebooks are a great assessment. Parents also love looking through the progress their child is making during our conference times. The task on this day was also on shapes. 
A finished product! 
Also at the same time I had one other math bin going. This math bin is one of our favorites. This is called “Cover Up Your Side.” For this game my students sit face to face and put the work mat in front of them. One side has a unicorn (because my girls are OBSESSED with ponies right now) and the other side has Ninjas. (for the boys!) 
The goal of the game is to cover up all of the numbers on their side of the game board with their manipulatives before their friend does. To do this, my students take turns flipping over the playing cards and covering up the correct numbers. (There are also cards that let them go again, take off one of their friend’s pieces or have to clear their board– they love these!)
 I found fortune cookie and rainbow erasers at Target that are PERFECT for this game. 
Throughout the month we will enjoy all of the math bins from my February pack of 20 Math bins. I use these games as teaching tools during my guided math mini lessons and also as math bins. Other games that we are playing this week include covering incorrect addends so only the correct addend is showing:
 And a fun pattern game called “Spin it to win it.” (This helps my students with number patterns) 
First they choose a card and write in the next number in the pattern.
Then they spin the spinner to see which person won! The card with the smaller number or the card with the larger number! 
 
I hope that this post answered some of your questions on how I run my math block and gave you some ideas! If you are interested in these new math bins, they are ON SALE for the next two days at my store. (It’s 20 centers for only $10!! That is only 50 cents a center! Don’t miss this deal!!!) Click the cover of my packet below to get taken to it! 
I hope you are having a good week! 

 photo ADayinFirstGradeSignature_zpse8bfbfe2.png

Tags:
, , , , ,
17 Comments
  1. Amazing post girl! I just love your pictures!

  2. Thank you so much! That helps out a lot! :-)

  3. Your math block looks great! Just wondering…are your games differentiated or do all of the kids play the same game? I’m trying to do differentiated stations/centers, but finding it difficult. Thanks!

  4. Love this post and your classroom!!! I am wanting to start math stations now but am so afraid. My class can be quite difficult at times. I think I just need to dive in though. :)

  5. Love the idea of math stations, do you a whole group math lesson as well or just meet with the small groups and do it that way? I love all of your wonderful and cute ideas! I would probably have to start very simple.
    Dirt Road Teacher

  6. Your stuff is BEYOND precious!

  7. SUCH A PRETTY POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING, as always!

  8. I always enjoy your posts. My question for you because I am struggling with this in my rotations…You say you switch out the manipulatives once a month, but do the games switch out every week or stay the same for the whole month? I know my stronger students would do some of the activities more than once, but others they would not. Thanks so much!
    Christa
    sweetlifeofsecondgrade

  9. Love this! Your math set-up sounds great. I currently enjoy mine, but wouldn’t mind setting it up with more rotations/spiral review games.

    Thanks for the ideas :)
    Shelby
    First Time Firstie

  10. Wonderful post! I know people have already asked you a ton of questions, but I am wondering- What do you do if students do not finish their math journal activity? Do they still rotate to the next activity? Like you, our rotations are short (10-15 min) and often students are not able to complete their independent activity in one rotation. Also, when do you explain their math journal activity to them? Do you do it as part of your whole group lesson?

    Last one, I swear! I would kill for you to compile a list of your math books by topic!! I love that idea as a center, but I am not sure what books to start to gather. Whew! You are a wealth of information! I would be happy to email you separately as well if you have the time. My email is ckuhlman@trinity.edu. :)

  11. I second all these comments and questions! I would love to have an ear to ear conversation with you. You have 6 bins, do the kids get to pick a bin? I have a 1 hr 45 min math block, but still struggle to fit it all in. We have a text that I do a lesson from them the kids go to their “rotation” but I have a hard time getting them settled from answering questions to herding cats! I don’t have a lot of time to spend teaching the activities :(. I seriously would love to talk to you. I admire your differentiation and organization! If you are willing to be a mini mentor email me through my gmail!

  12. Love some Kristen Smith!!! Your posts always make me smile!!
    XO
    Laura

  13. I love this and it is very similar to my math block. However I only manage to see 2 per day and I have 4 math groups. I do one rotation of math centers/math group at the beginning of the block. Then I teach the lesson and we do some guided practice. Then I have the 2nd rotation/math center/guided math block. The problem I have this year with my 3rd graders is them not completing their work during center time.

    So my question to you was, do you find that your students are having enough time to finish with 10 minutes?

  14. I love how organized your tubs are and how cute your manipulatives are! Your kiddos must love you! 😉

    Rachel
    A-B-Seymour

  15. Such organization and great activities! How do you do a mini-lesson in 10 minutes? Seems like a short amount of time to teach. Do students do all of the rotations in one day? When do you explain how to do all of the activities which takes time, and also, how do you hold your students accountable for doing the work and not playing around? These are all things that I have encountered in my tries to do some kind of center work.

  16. I would love to know all of the above…PLUS, where did you get those fabulous erasers?!?! 😉

  17. I just found your blog and I’m so glad that I did! Love how you have your math centers setup!! Thank you for sharing your ideas!:)

    Alma
    Mrs. Solis Teaching Treasures

17 Comments

  • Amazing post girl! I just love your pictures!

  • Thank you so much! That helps out a lot! :-)

  • Your math block looks great! Just wondering…are your games differentiated or do all of the kids play the same game? I’m trying to do differentiated stations/centers, but finding it difficult. Thanks!

  • Love this post and your classroom!!! I am wanting to start math stations now but am so afraid. My class can be quite difficult at times. I think I just need to dive in though. :)

  • Love the idea of math stations, do you a whole group math lesson as well or just meet with the small groups and do it that way? I love all of your wonderful and cute ideas! I would probably have to start very simple.
    Dirt Road Teacher

  • Your stuff is BEYOND precious!

  • SUCH A PRETTY POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING, as always!

  • I always enjoy your posts. My question for you because I am struggling with this in my rotations…You say you switch out the manipulatives once a month, but do the games switch out every week or stay the same for the whole month? I know my stronger students would do some of the activities more than once, but others they would not. Thanks so much!
    Christa
    sweetlifeofsecondgrade

  • Love this! Your math set-up sounds great. I currently enjoy mine, but wouldn’t mind setting it up with more rotations/spiral review games.

    Thanks for the ideas :)
    Shelby
    First Time Firstie

  • Wonderful post! I know people have already asked you a ton of questions, but I am wondering- What do you do if students do not finish their math journal activity? Do they still rotate to the next activity? Like you, our rotations are short (10-15 min) and often students are not able to complete their independent activity in one rotation. Also, when do you explain their math journal activity to them? Do you do it as part of your whole group lesson?

    Last one, I swear! I would kill for you to compile a list of your math books by topic!! I love that idea as a center, but I am not sure what books to start to gather. Whew! You are a wealth of information! I would be happy to email you separately as well if you have the time. My email is ckuhlman@trinity.edu. :)

  • I second all these comments and questions! I would love to have an ear to ear conversation with you. You have 6 bins, do the kids get to pick a bin? I have a 1 hr 45 min math block, but still struggle to fit it all in. We have a text that I do a lesson from them the kids go to their “rotation” but I have a hard time getting them settled from answering questions to herding cats! I don’t have a lot of time to spend teaching the activities :(. I seriously would love to talk to you. I admire your differentiation and organization! If you are willing to be a mini mentor email me through my gmail!

  • Love some Kristen Smith!!! Your posts always make me smile!!
    XO
    Laura

  • I love this and it is very similar to my math block. However I only manage to see 2 per day and I have 4 math groups. I do one rotation of math centers/math group at the beginning of the block. Then I teach the lesson and we do some guided practice. Then I have the 2nd rotation/math center/guided math block. The problem I have this year with my 3rd graders is them not completing their work during center time.

    So my question to you was, do you find that your students are having enough time to finish with 10 minutes?

  • I love how organized your tubs are and how cute your manipulatives are! Your kiddos must love you! 😉

    Rachel
    A-B-Seymour

  • Such organization and great activities! How do you do a mini-lesson in 10 minutes? Seems like a short amount of time to teach. Do students do all of the rotations in one day? When do you explain how to do all of the activities which takes time, and also, how do you hold your students accountable for doing the work and not playing around? These are all things that I have encountered in my tries to do some kind of center work.

  • I would love to know all of the above…PLUS, where did you get those fabulous erasers?!?! 😉

  • I just found your blog and I’m so glad that I did! Love how you have your math centers setup!! Thank you for sharing your ideas!:)

    Alma
    Mrs. Solis Teaching Treasures

  • Leave a Comment