Friday, November 27, 2015

A much requested post....Math Stations and FREEBIES!

The most requested PD that teachers and districts have asked me to do is Math Stations.  My current school had a book study over the summer.  Ok...we had three but Daily 5 was by far the best of the three.  Many teachers were excited to get their five stations into action.  After they established their expectations and procedures, many asked how to incorporate a system like the Daily 5 for Math.  Let's do this!

Station 1 - Word Work (Vocabulary)
Math is it's own language and many students can compute but struggle when presented with a word problem that contains vocabulary.  This station was always focused on current unit vocabulary.

I tried not to put too many words in the station so my students were not overwhelmed and confused.  For example, if a unit covered 15 words and lasted for 3 weeks - I divide up the words into 5 per week (sometimes it would be 6 and 4 depending on what words were related to one another).  I use many different ways to do vocabulary to keep kids interested.  I often use my vocabulary package, since it contains most third through five grade vocabulary.  I do need to add a few words to it, but it contains 138 words.   The set is color-coded (word and definition) and has an example.  I like the color coordination to help my struggling students narrow down their options.

 I always want to have an accountability component to my stations, this helps my students stay on task.  Once they have matched the word, definition, and example, We add it to our math journal.  The kids love the spring definitions.


Click here to get the spring template.

Sometimes I use this graphic organizer.


Typically, I give the kids choice in which one they prefer.  I don't usually run them off on paper after I teach them how to make them.  I will give them copy paper and they fold or cut the paper depending on which method they choose.

I do spiral in terms throughout the year.  Sometimes, to bring up the level of thinking - we start with word and definition.
 Then, the challenge comes when we take out the definition and they have to connect the word and the example.
 This is the set of all the vocabulary cards (138 total).  Click on the picture to go to TpT.
You do not have to use these sorts of cards, you can use plan index cards and use the same strategy.  

Station 2 - Math Fluency (Basic Math Facts)
This station is such a necessity.  For lower grades (2-3), I used addition and subtraction facts.  Upper grades (3-6), multiplication and division facts. I typically brainstorm four to eight different activities for this station and rotate them through monthly or every two months.  This was from our PD session

I have numerous games I use but still need to upload them to TpT.  I am constantly changing up activities to get me students to practice these facts.  I do also include some division activity but I usually do that in the spring.  I really want them to have a good grasp on their multiplication facts.

Station 3 - Math with Someone (game/activity)
Typically, this is my station where I use games or engaging activities that would review skills I have previously taught.  I do incorporate ipad games/apps in this station too.

We recently did long division in fourth grade, so this is What's Left? Remainder Game. The first picture is of our staff development session


I work in a new school with furniture that is designed to be written on, so we write on our desks often (and the windows)




If you are interested in this game, click on the picture below



Typically, my accountability piece at this station is at the end of the week (once all kids have been to that station at least once) we discuss game strategies

Does it matter who goes first?
Did you pick certain dividends for your opponent?
Was there a certain number that was best/lucky to roll?
Is it better/advantageous to start in the middle of the game board?
Are there certain remainders that appear more often?
Were there any remainders that were not on the game board?

Station 4 - Math by myself (Progress monitoring/Evaluate)
This station is how I monitor student understanding or assess them.  The pieces for this station are usually paper/pencil, performance assessment, test, or etc.  If the activity is a performance assessment, I ask the kids to take a picture of their work with the ipad and chirp it to me.  This is a way to not disrupt my small group and I can still monitor if my kids are on track.
This picture is from PD.  The activity is small hundreds charts that require certain multiples to be colored a designated color.  Teachers were asking for another way for students to connect multiplication to patterns.  I do not have it in my store yet (it's on my work computer) but I'll add it to my store soon and it'll be free.


Station 5 - Math with my teacher (small group guided instruction)
This station is where I typically do my direct instruction and remediation.  I typically group my kids into four heterogeneous groups and based on personality (some kids cannot get along).  I then call the students I need from each group.  My station group is very fluid and changes based on the concept, but the groups that go to stations together typically stay the same for an extended period of time.  I spend a decent amount of time thinking about who works well with one another and who can help those in their group.  My struggling students may stay in my small group for three or four rotations if I want them to see/hear the lesson multiple times.  It all depends on their needs.  I don't use a designated time to rotate.  I constantly monitor student engagement and rotate when needed.  My group stays with me until I dismiss each student individually based on their understanding.  I do have some students who may be at my table for three or four rotations.  They need to see the skill/concept more.

My goal for my stations is that each student (most students - not my struggling ones) get to every station at least once by the end of the week.

I do have some stations I rotate in during the spring semester to keep my kids loving station time.  I will do another blog post on those.  The stations involve word problems, puzzles, and target math.

If you are eager to start your stations, click on the picture below to get your free station signs


Leave me some feedback.  Ask me anything.






1 comment:

  1. Graphic organizer charts are a common name given to charts that can illustrate facts, concept, and ideas in a way that can be understood visually. Graphic organizers can also be used to help kids break down math problems into smaller steps. Each printable Math Graphic Organizer Template comes with at least one filled-in example.

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