Math Centers - Graphing and Review

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Students will be able to independently practice graphing, 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 graphing.

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:

Order these numbers.

On the Notebook file, I have a number line with only the number 16.  The numbers 15, 17, 18 and 19 are at the bottom of the page and need to be move onto the number line.  If you do not have a SMARTBoard, you could write a similar problem on a white board or chalkboard.

I have one students come up and answer the question.  I then ask another students to agree or disagree and explain why.  In this problem, I am looking for students to be able to put the teen numbers in the correct order on the number line.  I follow up with some questions including:

What number is less than 16?
What number is more than 18?
This number line only shows up to 19.  What number would come next?

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:

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.

Conversation Heart Graphing
Count Your Lucky Stars
I Spy
Review Shapes Activity
Lakeshore Numbers and Counting Adventures
  (This is not a personal video, but does show a child using this software)


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 their center.  I circulate through the room to make sure that all of the centers are being done correctly. 

I stay and work with the group that was graphing since we are just starting this unit. I know that group will need some additional guidance on how to create a graph. 

When there are five 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:

Conversation Heart Graphing
Count Your Lucky Stars
SMART Board Counting Game