It was my second year of teaching 3rd grade when I decided to move towards a math workshop model.
My students were struggling with many math concepts and whole group instruction was not helping.
The idea of math centers sounds great, but it can quickly get overwhelming. I’ve listed some problems I faced and also the solutions I came up with.
I hope these will help you to take the first step into math workshop. It truly is the best way to reach every student. 🙂
The Problem with Guided Math
One big problem with guided math is not knowing what to assign for math centers.
It can get especially overwhelming when you start pulling math games from various places. You end up wasting lots of time explaining directions and students get off task because they are confused.
Another big problem is holding students accountable for their work during math centers. You want students to record their work, but then you don’t have extra time to check or organize all the recording sheets.
Centers for Elementary Math
I created the math games that I wish I had. The math games are aligned to the standards, easy to manage, and perfect for 15-20 minute rotations!
✓ The math games are aligned to the CCSS. This means you know students are practicing the skills you are required to teach. The learning goal is posted on each math game.
✓ There is a predictable routine. Each math center has 3 math games per math standard. (Math Sort, Matching Game, Clip Cards) The game structure is the same, so you won’t waste time teaching new games each week.
✓ Students use one recording sheet. Students stay organized by only needing one recording sheet per topic. An answer key is provided, so you or students can check their answers.
✓ These math games come with label cards that will help you organize the math centers. These label cards include pictures and directions for each game.
Each game set comes with a matching game. There are a total of 18 cards.
It is helpful to store the number cards separate from the letter cards. You could use a rubber band or a binder clip to separate them. This will help students get started quickly.
You can add some fun to this clip card center by adding fun clothespins or paper clips. Target usually has seasonal items like this at their dollar spot.
These math sorting activities are completely different from my no-prep math sorts. The cards are larger and will fit perfectly into pocket charts.
Each game set includes 3 math games and ONE recording sheet. That means your students will keep track of only ONE piece of paper! The answer key is also provided for you or your students to check answers.
I use the Iris Photo & Craft Keeper to organize my math game sets. I needed to purchase a total of 2 in order to fit a grade level of math games.
I’ve included labels that will help keep you and your students organized. Below is one way to organize these math centers.
Do you own these math centers? I’d love to see how you’ve organized them 🙂
Download a FREE Sample!
The best way to see just how perfect these math game sets are is to try them out!
Click the images below to try a free set for 3rd-5th grade. I know you and your students will love them!
VIEW THE PRINT & DIGITAL BUNDLES
Want to view the PRINT ONLY option?
- 2nd Grade Math Centers Bundle
- 3rd Grade Math Centers Bundle
- 4th Grade Math Centers Bundle
- 5th Grade Math Centers Bundle
- 6th Grade Print & Digital Activity Sets
Want to read more about guided math?
Below are some articles you may be interested in.
Do you have anything for high school algeabra and geometry
Sorry, but my focus is grades 3-5.
Hi! I recently bought your 3rd grade math centers bundle and I’m so excited to use it for this coming school year! I bought the containers to put them in as well. I also saw that you have a 2nd grade math centers bundle on TPT. Is is the same format as your 3rd grade bundle? My hope is have some of the 2nd grade activities in the 3rd grade containers so that they can go back and review some 2nd grade skills that they might need some extra work on at the beginning of the year.
Yes, all of my printable math centers for grades 2-6 follow the same format.
I always stress to my students that they are responsible for their learning. If they don’t ask questions, how am I able to help them, etc.
I can’t imagine grading all the tri-folds for the week. So, yay, perhaps the students can use the key. BUT, don’t you have those students who will either use the key to complete their recording sheet – or, have students who will change their answers to appear they got them correct? (Again, I try to stress to the students that doing this isn’t helping them in any way!) I don’t imagine I would take the actual “grade” they received from this practice anyways, so it really won’t matter. But…Just curious how you do this.
Also, I have several sets of the colorful photo boxes. How do you store the answer keys for each skill? Do you just fold it in half and place it in the box under the three sets of cards per skill?
These are so great. They are very useful. Thank you so much for creating and sharing.
My homeschooled fifth grader needed a little extra practice before we call it quits for the year. I thought your math sort would help fill the gap and looks super fun. When I downloaded, though, the scene before my eyes was that a puppy had strolled across the keyboard – so many odd keystrokes and no math at all. Perhaps your computer and mine speak different languages, but I cannot download properly. Writing this so that maybe you can help me.
Hola! Yo quedé fascinada con la variedad de actividades, son muy novedosas y variadas. Gracias. Saludos desde México.