Monday, June 6, 2011

Launching Guided Math-The First Weeks of School

What students will be doing the first few weeks : Exploration of Math Tools
  • Pattern Blocks
  • Wooden Blocks
  • Attribute Links
  • Geoboards
  • Unifix Cubes
  • Treasure Boxes (containers with different manipulatives)
  • Color Bears
  • Colored Toothpicks
From the research I have read (Kathy Richardson), I can't expect the children to get down to the business of using manipulatives until they have gotten the play out of the way.  I need to make this initial exploration a time for the children  to explore (and I can get some of the beginning of the year assessments done).
I also need to make sure it is very different from when I start the actual math stations.

Teaching the Routines for Math Stations
I will probably teach it like the Daily 5-building stamina, having the example, non-example etc.  However, I don’t want the kids to think that this is the Daily 5 Math.  Daily 5 should be quieter-Math Stations will obviously be nosier because the children need to talk about what they are learning.  The more I research, the more I realize that children need to explore-starting with the concrete before they move to the abstract.  Therefore, they need to have a conversation with their partners about what they are doing.  I want my Math Stations to be separate from my Daily 5 because I don’t want either endeavor to jeopardize the success of the other.

Below is the list of guidelines I want to strive for with my math stations.  I will obviously need to model and explain each one, but this hits on the main ideas I want my children to understand.

All Aboard for Math Stations:
Tools Not Toys
Peaceful Partners
Time on Task
My Place is in My Math Space
Clean Up Carefully


  1. I like the way you have worded your math guidelines. :)

  2. Good point about not wanting the kids to think it is Daily 5 math. I agree that there needs to be conversation during work stations.

  3. LOVE the wording of your guidelines...I just may use these and add pics of my students doing "the right thing"!

  4. I'm liking your guidelines for math work stations...may have to use these for my class, too.
    Thanks :)

  5. Thanks for joining the discussion. I agree your guidelines are wonderful! I love the catchiness of the phrase yet it is simple enough language for everyone to understand. Pure genius!

  6. I too loved your simple way of giving the children guidelines. I will be following your blog! Linda

  7. I'm just playing around with the guidelines and came up with some to a CAMP acronym: (I have a camping theme--so I have Camping Stations!)

    C-clean up carefully
    A-around the room rotations (my stations are in order around perimeter of room)
    M-make every minute count (stay on task)
    P-partners practice together

    I am getting so excited about doing math stations this year! I've done guided groups before, but just rotated through teacher, IWB activity, math games and worksheet. I'm planning on a short calendar time with whole group mini-lesson then 2 stations (10 in a week) and a share time. All in 60 minutes...

  8. O I love all these ideas for the guidelines for the stations! Thanks everyone