Math Centers - Measurement and Review

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Students will be able to independently practice measuring with nonstandard units, 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 measurement.

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:

Sort these objects into two groups.

On the Notebook file, I have pictures of several modes of transportation.  Most of them are trains and the others include a car, wagon, plane and bus.  If you do not have a SMART Board, you can use the PDF or just show pictures or toys. 

I have one students come up and answer the question.  I then ask another students to agree or disagree and explain why.  The obvious solution to this problem would be to sort the trains into one group and the other modes of transportation into another group, but there are other possible solutions.  In this problem, I am looking for students to show that they can sort objects.  I am also looking for students to explain why they sorted the objects that way (Mathematical Practice 3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others). If needed, I'll support this with prompts (only), such as:

I noticed that ...... Can you tell me why you .....?

What would happen if you .....? 

Is there another way that you could ......?

Introducing Centers

25 minutes

I use math centers in my classroom as a way to reinforce the skills that are being taught.  Students are able to 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:

Measuring Abe's Hat (from Teachers Pay Teachers)
Measure the Room
(from Teachers Pay Teachers)
Valentine's Day Measurment (Teacher Created Resource- Use candy hearts)
Teen Numbers with Ten Frames
(from Teachers Pay Teachers)
(2D and 3D Shapes 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, complete 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.

Measure the Room
Measuring Abe's Hat
Teen Numbers with Ten Frames
Valentine's Day Measurement
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. 

Our measurement lessons are going to be focused more on comparing length and not actually measuring.  I want students to be exposed to the context for measurement, so I include some measurement opportunities.  Since this is a new skill, I spend today helping students with the measurement centers. 

When we have about 5 minutes left, 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:

Measure Abe's Hat
Measure the Room
Teen Numbers with Ten Frames