I love using games in my math centers. I have to admit it wasn’t always successful. In the early days of teaching, I didn’t consider things like how to set up successful centers, or even the best way to use games during center time.
I’ve learned that if I want students to get the most from a game, not only should I teach them how to play it but I should also hold students accountable. And I’ve found the best way to hold them accountable is to include a recording sheet with the game.
The benefits of using recording sheets in math centers
Using a recording sheet has three main benefits
1. I can work with a small group of students and know my other students are involved in constructive learning.
When I’m working with a small group of students I need to know my other students are also learning. I don’t want them to be using this time to play. When a recording sheet is part of a game, they know they’ll have to show me what they’ve done at the end of the rotation.
2. I get some informal assessment and work samples.
While using a recording sheet makes students accountable, it also provides me with an informal assessment. At the end of the rotation, students turn work in. Later in the day I quickly scan the accountability sheets and make note of who struggled with the concepts the game presented.
This doesn’t mean hours of grading. I scan the sheets and form 2 piles – who needs more work on the concept and who understands it. I can use this information to help me with student groupings for guided math sessions.
And those recording sheets? U
3. Students get the opportunity to
Many studies show the benefits of writing down information. When children are writing by hand, their brains receive feedback from their motor actions. This, in turn, strengthens the learning process.
First Grade Math Centers
I’ve had many people ask me after using my
Just like the
I like to have options for how much ink I want to use so each game comes with the option to print in full color, limited color or black ink only. If I’m printing from home I use the limited ink option. And if I want to send the game home, I print in black ink.
Differentiate games for your students
You can differentiate for your
Step by step rules page
I love using an illustrated rules page. Even though I’ve explained the game, an illustrated rules page is a visual reminder of how to play it. I’ve also included the rules on the bottom of every game and on the recording sheet.
I hate cutting up cards. It’s time consuming and cards get lost.
I want my centers to be easy to prepare. With these
Where possible, an answer guide for the game is provided. Many of the games are Common Core aligned as well as being appropriate for the Australian Curriculum.
Grab a pack
Would you love to try easy prep first grade math centers in your colassroom. You can grab a pack of my first grade center bundle from my TPT store.