Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Math Work Stations Chapters 1 and 2

I hope you have your copy of Math Work Stations and are ready to get the book talk going!

Chapter 1 was a bit of an eye opener for me. Our team plans mostly from Investigations and it is great, but isn’t set up to have stations. The way I’ve been doing it, my students play a game for a time or two then we move on. I really want to do a mix of Work Stations and Guided Math next year, though. I think the work stations part will be great! My goal for next year is to be better about differentiating my stations and letting my STUDENTS choose what they want to keep and what to move on. I am all about choice, and can’t believe I let it slip by me this time!

Now, on to Chapter 2… organization! This I can do! You may have seen my post in March about Math organization already, but here it is again in case you would like to see it. Click here!

I haven’t been teaching for too long, so I haven’t had to purge many things that I don't need.

I organize my math manipulatives like this:

I will be changing the way the unifix cubes are organized. I really like the idea of having them in rows of 10 :)

Here is a freebie for you! Below you can get your copy of the labels I use to organize the manipulatives.

Math Labels -   

The materials we use often for games are stored like this:

This will probably end up being my math corner.

Most everything else I use for math is stored in this container:

It has worked well for me so far, but I imagine as I get more materials for different topics, I will be buying bigger containers to stack in my cabinet oh so neatly!

This is the issue I have to tackle this summer… storing the math games we are using. I have a vision of having good sized containers under the place my students store their backpacks because that is typically wasted space in my classroom. I am not sure how well this will work for me, though. When I do figure out my storage solution for the stations we are using, I’ll let you know. This year I felt like I was wasting quite a bit of time putting games away then getting them out again the next day. I just don’t have a great way to store these yet. Any ideas?

One more thought to ponder… I will be teaching math to 2 different classes. Yes, you read that right! For one hour a day I will be teaching math to another teacher's class. She will teach science and social studies to both of our classes, and I will teach math. Our school has a Dual Language program that switches this way. It has worked out very well for them, and us monolingual teachers would like to do it as well. The issue I see is the choice factor. (Remember Debbie Diller suggests to get the students involved in choosing how long to keep stations and when to put them away.) How likely is it that both classes will choose to have the same math stations available? Any insight here?

For more, hop on over to Deedee Will’s blog to read what she and other bloggers had to say!



Deedee Wills said...

Whew!!! You do have a challenge with two classes. I wonder if a voting system would work? Compile the votes from the two classes? Could this be a data collection activity?

I love your rainbow containers-BTW!

Thanks for linking up!!!
Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Terri Thornton said...

I also teach two classes of math a day. I have 100 minutes for each math class... It's soo nice. We get so much done! I just treat my two classes as two totally different groups. At first, I wanted both to be on the same unit, doing the same things. Then I realized that my two classes were totally different and it's okay if they do different things. I have 10 stations at all times. I choose what the 10 are, but my students decide what they want to do that day. Either way, they have to complete all 10. I hope this helps... Good Luck!


Logan said...

I'm excited to start reading the book! My copy is on backorder, so I'm reading everyone else's blogs for now. I used Investigations in kindergarten the last 2 years and mostly stuck with their math workshop stations so that I could work with my large class (23!) in small groups. Thanks for sharing!

michaeledlavitch said...

Have you heard of Hooda Math Games yet? at, Check out their featured math games at

Melissa said...

Mrs. Patton,
I was so excited to read your post! I'm also going to be teaching math to 2 first grade classes next year (and science- I'm trading with another teacher who's doing reading block with both classes). And we also use investigations. I'd love to talk to you more about how this is all going to work! I've got all summer to figure it out=)
F is For First Grade

Ashleigh said...

I've taught 2 math classes for the past two years and organization has been a challenge. We don't have any tables, so my homeroom has desks which makes it a little easier. I bought magazine trays for my other group, and I love them. They're just the right size and fit in my bookshelves.

I also have a cart similar to the one you have, but it is only 1 column.