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Has anyone done play-based math and reading centers?

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hikinghiker hikinghiker is offline
 
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Has anyone done play-based math and reading centers?
Old 07-19-2019, 11:12 PM
 
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I'm going into my second year of teaching (kindergarten like last year) and I'm looking to do something a little difference with my centers. Last year I did a somewhat modified Daily 5 for literature and rotation for math centers. It worked okay (and my test scored were fantastic) but I always either felt like I was behind trying to change/get new centers, or that my centers were old and boring and just time wasters and not actually teaching or reinforcing, especially with my math centers where interest seemed to fade after the first day of each new game/activity. Also teaching each new math game is stressful for me, boring for them, and interest in each new game would last maybe a day or two only.

I do think that the phonics and math curriculum we use is fantastic (albeit somewhat boring) and the kids seem to do great with it. However, we have an hour long block for math every day which we can't change, and the math lessons take 15 minutes on most days, including practice and games.

I'm thinking about implementing play based math center where, instead of laminated and printed games and whatnot, I instead give them bins full of manipulatives. I did this occasionally last year and I often surprised at how children inherently use math skills when playing, especially if you encourage them. I'm talking about literally putting down a bin of counters, or a bin of shapes, or empty ten frames and mini erasers, or counters, and just seeing how they interact with it. Has anyone ever done this?


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Old 07-20-2019, 07:56 PM
 
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I have some math tubs and many of them are like you said. I'll put some number cards, popsicle sticks, and mini erasers in one. Then another will have empty tens frames, some dice, and cubes. Another will have addition flash cards, linker cubes, and spinners. You get the idea! It is amazing how kids will naturally create their own games and activities if you give them the tools. They are excited to practice what they learn and it shows!
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Centers
Old 07-22-2019, 04:41 PM
 
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Gosh..I wish I could remember all the centers I had back in the day. I’ll try to help:

Buy old calendars with pretty pictures on them. Pull it apart and laminate the pages. Have kids use dry erase or even water based markers to trace the numbers. One side is a pretty picture, one side is a “worksheet.”

Patterns: so many choices!! Rubber stamps to stamp a pattern on a strip of paper.
Counting bears to line up a pattern

Sorting: I had tons of manipulative s from Mathlands. Kids loved to sort the rhinestone jewels by color or size or shape. There were dinosaurs, wiggly bugs, etc.

Dominos for adding and subtracting.

Geometric shapes. There are sheets out there with pictures and you have to put the shapes in just so.

Geoboards...seriously invest in lots of geoboards and rubber bands.

4 page blank books for drawing and writing equations.

Do you need literacy ideas as well?

Last edited by Keltikmom; 07-22-2019 at 07:19 PM..
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:54 AM
 
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Quote:
I'm talking about literally putting down a bin of counters, or a bin of shapes, or empty ten frames and mini erasers, or counters, and just seeing how they interact with it. Has anyone ever done this?
Yes!!! I've been in several room that do this, and it's great! - Play is a very natural way kids learn. And with today's fast-paced curriculum, they really need that time to mess around with what they've learned and let it really sink in.

I love Sbkangas5's and Keltikmom's suggestions, and would also add:

Legos! - Kids learn a lot from building - besides patience (and of course, fine motor skills) they set the stage for really understanding fractions (like how two 2-dots can take the place of one 4-dot) and arrays later

"Math in art" - tracing geometric shapes to make pictures (and recording how many of each you use with tally marks, graphs, etc.)

those puzzles with "how many squares?" or "how many triangles?" (Laminate them so they can trace.)
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