Lesson 4 of 5
Objective: Highlights the use of math stations, and how they are set up in the classroom.
Math Station Set-Up
Setting up math stations at the beginning of the year in Kindergarten can be stressful. A large majority of my students have not attended preschool, so setting up a classroom routine can take a long time.
Each year, depending on the number of students I have and their needs, I must make changes to the way I set up math stations. This year I began with 24 students. I decided to set-up my stations in this way...
- I divided the class into two groups of 12.
- On Mondays and Wednesdays, Group 1 will use technology during math stations. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Group 2 will use technology during math stations. I am fortunate to have 6 classroom laptops and 6 classroom iPads. We use 2 programs purchased by the district for math on these devices- eSpark Learning and Dreambox Learning.
- The group that is not on technology will rotate thru the 4-5 math stations that I have set up. This means I will need 4-5 stations for Mon./Tues. and another 4-5 stations for Wed./Thrs. Using this method, I am planning 8-10 math stations per week.
- Friday is a free choice day. I set out all stations from the week, and technology. Students re-visit their favorite stations or hop on technology. This means we must have a discussion about not monopolizing the technology for the entire 45 minute block.
- I have attached a schedule that I display in the classroom.
- I do not tell students any order they must follow stations. The rule is "no more than 4". Only up to 4 students are allowed at a station. If 4 students are present, children must pick somewhere else to go until a space opens up.
- While students are at stations, I am either helping or pulling a small group that might need assistance on a particular math skill. This is just something I gauge. Sometimes it is necessary for me to be present at stations, and some days I can pull myself away to work with small groups. I have parent volunteers during stations, so days that I have other adults present are good times for pulling a group of students.
- The entire month of September is purely practice. We practice where we should go (stations or technology), and practice moving from one station to another making sure to follow the "no more than 4" rule. We discuss ideas such as being cooperative, and on task.
- Once October hits, I actually start putting out stations and using technology. The first couple of weeks it is necessary for me to just move around the room, guiding students. Station work always includes math skills that we have previously worked on, or are currently working on.