Reflection: Routines and Procedures Math Centers - Sorting - Section 4: Practice


Our first day of centers went great!  The students were engaged in their centers and with a few reminders also did a wonderful job at sharing and working quietly.  It is important to set up clear procedures for all of the transitions that occur during center time.  This includes:

When can the students get their center?

In my classroom, the students can get their center when their paper is finished.  I almost always have a paper for the students to do at the end of the whole group lesson.  As soon as the students are finished this, I allow them to get started on their center.  This is helpful because students can work on their paper at their own pace.

Who gets the center?

This was a bit of a challenge for me this year.  My students sit at tables so there is no space to keep their personal belongings.  In the past, I have had all of the table supplies in a caddy, and I have selected a daily table captain to be responsible for getting materials for the table (caddies, centers, etc.). This year I have chair pockets on my students seats and each student has a pencil box with their supplies in it.  With no caddies, I had not selected table captains.  After a bit of confusion in this area today, I decided to have the first person finished get the center.  I will need to continue to monitor this to be sure students are not rushing through their paper in order to get the center first.

How will students know when to clean up?

I put on Dr. Jean's song Tidy Up to signal clean up time.  I have also used different noise makers or turning off the light.  Using a song is helpful because it not only signals when it is time to clean up, but it also puts a time limit on cleaning up.

Who puts the center back?

In the past, I have had the table captain do this job.  This year I am having the person who got the center out, put it back.

What do the students do when center time is finished? 

When the centers are cleaned up, my students return to their seats and put their heads down.

  Who Gets the Center?
  Routines and Procedures: Who Gets the Center?
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Math Centers - Sorting

Unit 1: Comparing and Sorting Objects
Lesson 9 of 17

Objective: Students will be able to complete sorting activities independently.

Big Idea: In order to pull small groups during math instruction, the rest of the students need engaging activities that they can complete independently. These simple sorting activities help students learn the procedures for completing math centers.

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