Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Daily Math Rotations and Centers 2014

First grade math builds on skills learned in kindergarten and these concepts are VERY important as building blocks for learning to come.  In first grade, the most important ideas that we review and learn are:  number and number word identification (0-100), addition, subtraction, place value (numbers to 100), time, money, geometry, and measurement.

This year marks our third year with a new curriculum,  enVisions (Pearson).  We LOVE the interactive nature of this program as well as the technological components that we use with our SMART Board.  One of the greatest differences with this program and what weve used in the past is the Guided Math component.   Think Guided Reading except with math concepts.  I use the "rotation" concept that we use in Guided Reading/Daily 5 so students are already familiar with my expectations.  We don't start rotating in Math until the students have learned how to rotate in Daily 5 (6 weeks into school).  This also gives me time to really train them on my expectations in small groups, completing centers, and ixl.com.

Here's a snapshot of Guided Math (my way):
1.  Students are introduced to new topics each day with an interactive Smart Board "introduction" brought to us by enVisions.  Sometimes they're a little slow but they do well to introduce the concept and the "above grade level" group (who will have independent practice first) then has a basic introduction to what we will be talking about.

2.  Students are then placed in small (but fluid) groups according to their understanding of the content.   Small groups of students will complete the math packet for the day with the teacher's guidance or independently, depending on their level of understanding.  The above-grade-level group works on the math packet independently (as they are usually able to) and they come to me during the last rotation to check their packet and go over anything they may not have understood.  We have this rotation schedule projected on the Smart Board.

Like this?  So do I.  You can get it at a co-worker's TpT page.  Sara Schlickbernd, thank you!

3. While the small group is working with the teacher, other students are completing activities on ixl.com or working at their desks reviewing previously taught skills through the use of games and hands-on activities (Math Centers). I have especially enjoyed this addition to our classroom repertoire!  Before Guided Math, we studied concepts in isolation, went at the pace of the middle-of-the-road students, held the above-grade-levelers back, hoping the below-grade-levelers could keep up (that's honest, huh?)! :/ Now, we are constantly spiraling!  Believe me, it showed in our MAPS assessment scores!
www.ixl.com/signin/wakefieldelem will get you to Wakefield's login page.  Then use the login and password that was sent home with your first grader in September.  If you don't have that information, email me @ choffart@esu1.org.
4. The hands-on games and ideas that I use for this "rotation" time are all from pinterest, teacher webpages, TpT, & my own personal stash of goodies!  I have three-ring binders with the main topics of study written on them and have been "collecting" games/ideas for 15 years! (Sidenote:  I don't use the games that are provided through enVisions simply because they are SUPER verbal and I don't have the time in my schedule each day to explain how to play the games and, for a good portion of the year, my students can't read the directions independently.  PLUS, when I was using them, my students weren't engaged in them AT ALL!  Probably lack of preparation on my part - but  . . . . .) Anyway, back to centers!

I try to use one center that involves the topic of current study.  All of the other activities are review of concepts previously taught!  On the first day of the topic, enVisions traditionally has a little Home Connection game that you teach and a short introduction to the topic.  This doesn't take much time so I use the extra time (no rotations on this day) to explain ALL of the activities/centers for this topic, teach the students how to play the games, and explain, if needed, any recording that needs to take place.  I try to line up enough activities (depending on the scope of the unit) for students to complete one center each day.  So, with some units there are 5 activities to complete and with others there are only 3!  

Students typically have 20-25 minutes to work on centers.  IF a student completes all of the centers before the unit of study is over, they can repeat a center, choose from some cards games that we learned at the beginning of the year, or use the iPad to play math games (VERY popular!)  
An example of a math center I created and have on my TpT page.
5. IF the activity that the students completed has a recording sheet, it will need to be graded.  The math packets usually don't take the whole time so I send that group of students back to their desks for independent or center work and that's when I call students to the table to grade what they have completed!  I believe that accountability is VERY important to this process!  Otherwise, students will rush through everything just to get done with no regard for neatness or, more importantly, accuracy!  ALL of these activities are stored in baskets and, if students don't complete the activity that day, it goes back in the basket to be picked up the next day and completed.  

6.  This year, I am using a punch card for accountability.  In years past a simple chart was sufficient but this class needed a more visual representation to know which center they had just completed. I quickly found out when first implementing the center rotation that I couldn't remember who had done what because I'm busy with a group of my own!  :?  The punch card is much needed and well received.

 Hope this helps!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like we have similar styles. I love that punch card, what a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing.