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Math Center Management

I don't know about you, but it seems that every year I am trying to streamline my math centers.  I want to not only make my life easier, but I also want to make it more manageable and meaningful for my students.  

This year I tried something a little bit new.  

First of all, I have my math center rotations on a SMART notebook so I can easily put it up on my SMARTboard.  No more finding a spot in the room for a rotation chart that we use once a day.

Each day I just move the circles to the next center and then save the changes to the notebook before I close it after center time.

Secondly, I bought these drawers last year and decided they would be perfect for my math centers.  I have them numbered.  They also easily come out.  I have my students take the whole drawer to their table.

Lastly, in order to make things easier for myself.  I have kept the centers somewhat similar in each drawer.  Here is what my math centers look like:

Center 1 - pattern blocks
Center 2 - matching game and/or CRASH
Center 3 - changes each week
Center 4 - iPads
Center 5 - roll & color games
Center 6 - spinner games

As you can see, my students know instantly what they are doing at each center each week.  I don't keep the exact same activity in the drawer every week, but they are somewhat similar.  In my pattern block drawer, I use Elizabeth Hall's pattern block activities from her B.U.I.L.D. math centers.  (You can grab them here)

The centers change with each theme I am teaching, but the way to play the games/centers is usually the same except for center three.  I like to have one that I can change up.  I always teach that center whole group before I ever expect my students to do it on their own.  

During the time my students are doing math centers, I am pulling small groups.  I pull a group who needs some reteaching and I pull another group for enrichment.  I love having the opportunity to pull these students.  

Do you do math centers?  If so, I would love to hear how you manage them.  Sound off in the comments below!

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