Sunday, September 22, 2013

Math Centers: our first explorations in the world of math

We have been trying so many new things this first month of school! Last week was our first time learning how to do math centers. We split into four groups, and practiced rotating between four different centers. Three of the math centers were fun games or building materials, and we were lucky enough to have Ms. Breuer and our two high school tutors help us run those centers. Then the fourth center was math journals with me! Each student gets their own math journal which looks like this:

Every time we meet, we will talk about a different math sentence, number problem (what we grownups used to call "story problems") or concept, and use our journals to draw or write how we find the answer. I tell them to "draw what their brain thinks about." For this first math journal, I gave them the simple prompt "I see a blue circle" (I got this awesome idea from another teacher). Here's a few kindergarteners showing what their brains thought about:

This simple prompt gave me such a range of ideas about where their thoughts are coming from! For example, the student above is drawing herself sitting on the rug, which just so happens to be a blue oval!

We'll continue to have math centers 3-4 days per week. This is a great time for kids to practice a lot of the math concepts that we learn as a whole class. It also gives me the opportunity to work with them in small groups to help boost their understanding of numbers, shapes, and patterns!

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