Math Centers - Reviewing Addition

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Students will be able to independently practice addition, teen numbers and shapes.

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 centers allow students to practice a variety of math skills including addition.

Problem of the Day

5 minutes

I start each math lesson with a Problem of the Day.  I use the procedures outlined here on Problem of the Day Procedures.

Today's Problem of the Day:

Gwen has three bears.  Show one way that she can group her bears.

I set this problem up with some structures to help the students organize their thinking.  I give a box split into two sections each to help the students see that they need to create groups.  I also add a blank number sentence frame to remind the students to also write their answers as an equation. 

If you do not have a SMARTBoard, you can use the PDF and toy bears, bear pictures, or students' drawings. 

The idea that numbers can be put together or broken apart to make other numbers is a critical understanding in the development of computational fluency. Standard K.OA.3 says that students need to be able to decompose numbers less than or equal to ten in more than one way. This problem requires students to show one way of representing the joining. Since we are just starting this skill, I am only expecting students to decompose one way.  

We do this whole group, and then I have one student come up and work on this problem.  I remind our presenter to check his or her work when they are finished, and then ask the class tell if they agree or disagree by showing a thumbs up or thumbs down.  

Introducing Centers

25 minutes

I use math centers in my classroom as a way to reinforce the skills that are being taught.  To insure that my students will be successful, I make sure they are able to both practice the skills we are currently working on as well go back and revisit the skills taught in previous units. 

The math centers give students are chance to work independently or with their peers to complete a task.  The students are not just learning and practicing number skills, they are also working on social skills including taking turns, sharing, and working cooperatively.  Having students working in centers also allows me time to pull small groups of student to my table to work on skills specific to their needs.

I have the students move into a circle.  I remind students to sit on the hard floor so that there is space for everyone.  I bring up all of the center trays.  I explain and model how to complete each center.  This week's centers are:

Ladybug Addition (from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten)
Domino Addition
(from Teachers Pay Teachers)
Spin and Add
(I used a Lakeshore Instant Learning Center.  A similar game can be found free on Teachers Pay Teachers.)
Teen Numbers Book
(from Kindergarten Crayons)
2D and 3D Shapes
on Computers (from Starfall)

Each center is explained in the video located in the next section.

Explanation of Centers

The following centers are kept in a stack of plastic drawers in my classroom.  Each drawer has a number on it which corresponds to the numbers on the student tables.  The students take the center out of their numbered drawer, compete the center and return it to that same drawer when it is time to clean up.

Click on each center below to see a video explanation.

Ladybug Addition
Domino Addition
Spin and Add

Teen Numbers Book
2D and 3D Shapes


20 minutes

Once I have introduced all of the centers, I have the students go back to their seats.  I remind students of our center rules.  Students need to work quietly and stay at their seats.  Materials need to remain on the table and be cleaned up quickly and quietly when the clean up song comes on.  I call up one student from each table to come back and get the group's center. 

As students work, I circulate through the room to make sure that all of the centers are being done correctly.  I wait until all of the students are started and ensure that there are not any questions. Even though these are new center activities, we've been doing centers for a while now, so I am able to pull three intervention groups today.  

I group students based on my observations of their ability with addition.  I do the same activity with each group, but I spend more time modeling for and practicing with the first group.  I say a number story, have the students use manipulatives to model it and write the number sentence on a white board.  Prior to starting with my last group, I count down from 5 and say "Freeze."  When I say this, all students stop what they are doing, put their hands on their heads and look at me.  This is a procedure that we use throughout the day. 

I say to students, "You have about five minutes left.  Remember when the clean up song comes on, you need to quietly put all of your materials back in your container and return it to the math center drawer.  It needs to be in the drawer that matches your table number."  I let the students work for five more minutes and then turn on Tidy Up by Dr. Jean. There are many wonderful transition songs to be found, for free, online if you'd like to use music for transitions too. Students clean up and return to their seats. 

Students Working:

Ladybug Addition