What do you remember from your 2nd grade math class? If you thought “nothing”, or if you’re like me and remember sitting with an open workbook while the teacher taught at the front of the room and you “learned” all about math, this blog post is for you!
Math should be full of hands-on engaging activities that allow students to think critically and use different strategies to learn. When you place these activities in math centers in your classroom, you’re giving your students an opportunity to practice strategies and mathematical thinking independently.
3 Reasons To Use Math Centers
Many teachers worry about students goofing around during math centers in the classroom, but this can be avoided by setting up engaging and fun centers that students are motivated to complete.
If you’re unsure whether math centers are for you, read on to find out the 3 reasons you should totally use math centers in your classroom.
Reason 1: Students Learn More Than Just Math Skills
When students are working independently or in groups/partners during math time, they’re learning much more than just a mathematical concept.
They’ll discover their classmates are using different strategies and thinking. This makes it perfect for students working together to teach or learn different strategies and ways of thinking from each other. It also helps when you want to do group problems or have a math discussion.
In centers, students are learning key social skills, like cooperation and teamwork. These skills are so important. Although we often speak about them to our students, we need to make sure they have the time and chance to practice the skills as well!
In math centers, students also work on problem-solving skills. Often you won’t be available during center time due to working with a small group of students. So your students will need to solve issues or disagreements themselves. Plus, problem-solving is also a great math skill to learn! Win-Win!
Reason 2: Math Centers Make it Easy to Run Small Groups
When teaching whole group lessons, you often have to teach one strategy and one concept. It’s time consuming and difficult to customize the problems, wording, or concept for different ability levels. But if you have students working at math centers in your classroom. You can do all of the above!
While running math centers in your classroom, you can also meet with small groups of students. This allows you to teach a more level-based math lesson that is appropriate for the students sitting in front of you.
In your small group, you can teach the math lesson needed but also review or pre-teach math concepts depending on the students. Using math games in your small groups as a reward or fun activity on Fridays is always a great option as well.
When introducing new math centers into your classroom, take one day to allow students to interact with the new math center before adding it to the rotation. (It doesn’t have to be a full math block) This introduction is a good stepping stone before you expect students to complete the math center independently and it can eliminate the worry of being constantly disturbed by students who are unsure of what to do.
I often take 20 minutes and print multiple copies of the game/activity and have the students all complete it at once so I can answer questions as an entire group. It also allows me to see if the math center will work for the students or not.
Reason 3: Your Students Participate in Stress Free Learning
Setting up math centers in your classroom lets your students know they are learning in a stress-free environment. You’re not grading them during centers or checking over every single problem on a worksheet.
So many students have anxiety about math. They worry about getting problems wrong or not being able to complete the work correctly. When you set up math centers in your classroom, you take away that stress and create a stress-free, open to mistakes classroom. Kids have classmates and resources around them to help them be successful when working at a math center.
Implement Math Centers in Your Classroom
If you’re looking for a massive bundle of first and second grade math centers to use in your classroom, you’re going to love these centers.
The consistent format and predictability mean that once you’ve taught your students how to play the game, they’ll be able to work independently, allowing you to run your small groups without interruption.
Plus with 127 different games in the pack, you’ll find it easy to differentiate to meet the needs of all your students.
Each common core aligned printable math center game so your kiddos can engage in hands-on learning in the classroom.
If you love using digital, the pack has that component too. Each game also comes in a digital version, with step-by-step instructions on how to use it in Google Classroom™, Canvas™, Microsoft Teams™, and Microsoft OneDrive™ and there’s also a Seesaw™ preloaded link. (You will need your own Seesaw™ account.)
If you need to send work home you can email a game. The game comes with full instructions on how to make a game marker in Adobe Acrobat Reader™ so kids can play on their computer without the internet.
Or if you prefer you can use the black ink copy that can be printed out and sent home.
Math centers are the perfect way for students to review and practice new concepts.
You can grab this bundle by clicking on the image below.
You can also get the bundle from our Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
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