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tgcrzy4u29 tgcrzy4u29 is offline
 
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Math Workstations
Old 07-30-2013, 08:02 AM
 
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Hi, I am a second year K teacher. I would love some advice on starting math workstations at the beginning of the year. How do you management them? How do you introduce them? Do you start with more than 1? What kinds of activities do you do at first? My school's math program is worksheet based, which I can't stand. Any help would be so helpful. Thank you.
Tracy


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filigree filigree is offline
 
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A great resource...
Old 07-30-2013, 10:03 AM
 
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...is Debbie Diller's Math Workstations. I got it a few yrs back, read through it, but never really implemented it b/c I wasn't so much into all the hands-on. Well, now, with the Common Core math curriculum we started, last year, you really have to do the hands-on, even if you're uncomfortable w/ it. I think Debbie Diller's book really would mesh w/ the Common Core philosophy.

I know, w/ our math curriculum, it is suggested that we start w/ exploration of manipulatives. Maybe do colored bear counters, one day, then use colored cubes, colored links, etc., whatever you may have. Of course, establish rules such as "no throwing manipulatives", "all manipulatives stay on the table", etc., before passing out the materials. You can use the same type of manipulative at each table, each day. You don't have to get overwhelmed w/ bears at one table, cubes at another table, etc. Put bears at every group's table on Monday, cubes at every group's table on Tuesday, etc. After you have established management rules, just let the kids explore. See what they come up w/. Don't necessarily tell them, "Make a pattern w/ those cubes" or "Order those bears by size". See what they come up w/ on their own. You could also incorporate sorting circles (those things that unfold and you can lay one partially over the other...like a Venn diagram, double bubble map) and see if anyone can figure out what to do w/ it. Walk around and observe what the kids are doing, whether or not they're talking to each other, what they're talking about, etc.

This kind of thing goes on for maybe a week or so, before a formal math lesson would really begin. In the meantime, you can be teaching simple number songs to 10, even just forward and backward. And, of course, if your district has a calendar math program, introduce that, also, starting on the first day.

I really would recommend Debbie Diller's book, though. It has a lot of great hands-on ideas.
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Helpful blog
Old 07-30-2013, 02:33 PM
 
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Search for the Differentiated Kindergarten blog. She does an amazing job explaining how to get started, her rotations, storage of material and, of course, how she differentiates and so much more.

Don't get overwhelmed with her differentiation. She suggests first to get the stations going so kids get familiar and comfortable with the rotations and how to work in their stations--you will, too! Then she suggests differentiating maybe ONE station and add on from there as you become more comfortable and know what your kiddos need.

I dabbled in it a little last year. It's definitely a process. I will feel much more comfortable digging deeper and doing more this year. I LOVED working with my small groups. I didn't make as many small groups as i do with guided reading. I split the kids in 1/3s and worked with about 8 kids at a time but only had 4 working in a math station at a time.

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Old 08-01-2013, 09:48 AM
 
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thank you for your explanation. Its really helpful. I just order Debbie Diller book math workstations. I can't wait to read it.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:53 PM
 
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Every child has a tub of manipulatives
In groups of 4 we sort them by color, shape, texture or whatever they wish
I continue with the tubs to do counting activities, addition and subtraction activities all year.
Sometimes we share a tub and sometimes all have their own.
Each child brings a zip lock bag with 25 of the same item like 25 milk lids, matchbox cars etc.\I start with patterns and shapes


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Old 08-13-2013, 06:45 PM
 
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The beginning of the year, I do the whole group mini lessons to introduce and then practice the activity for a station. Next, I introduce another concept and station. The next day I go back to the first activity and do whole group guided practice. Next I do the practice on the second activity. During this time(1st/2nd week) students are explore the manipulatives during the stations time. Once students know what is expected in the stations, I fill the stations several boxes with activity 1, & activity 2 and I still leave manipultives to "explore" in the other boxes. We only go to one station at first until there are enough activities introduced during the mini lesson time to keep their interest.
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