Thursday, September 11, 2014

Math and Literacy Station Rotation

Alright, I finally got the students' pictures printed and set up for both literacy and math (!) stations. Here's a peek at what it looks like:

So students find their picture (by their partner's picture) and can see their literacy station (picture) and their math station (number). Literacy stations are set up around the room, so the picture helps remind students where to go.  Math stations are all in baskets, set up below student bookbags.

The baskets are numbers 0-10 and correlate to the number on the station rotation chart.  If my picture is next to the number 5, I know I need to grab the basket with the 5 on it.  Partnerships are the same in reading and math and students take their math station to the same spot they read during reading workshop. It's a simple way to make sure everyone spreads out, and students remember their spots well ... they picked them!

All of the current math stations focus on counting, subitizing, numeral recognition and formation. 

I try to include books that correlate whenever possible. This station is a count it, say it, write it monster activity where students roll a die, count and put that many googly eyes on their monster and write the number with a dry erase marker. 

Here are some shots of the math stations in action:

Why math stations? Well, when we focus on a concept whole-group (like positional words last week and sorting this week), it's easy to pull students who are struggling with the concept during station time.  All of the station tubs have choices of easy or challenging tasks, so it's easy for kids to get extra practice or an extra challenge at any of them.  But if a child is having trouble counting, even the easy tasks will be difficult.... so I can pull children in a small group and work on a specific task.

Yeah, oops, I wrote "below" twice. =/

Most students picked up positional words pretty quickly after our Positions with Pete lesson; students got a paper cut out of a bus and Pete to take home and practice manipulating them accordingly.  This week, I've found that although sorting is easy for students, ordering the sorted groups from least to greatest has proved challenging. I'm pulling a lot of students for extra help on that.

According to the common core standard, students must "classify objects into given categories; count the number of objects in each category and sort the categories by count." That last part is where we're struggling. If you are a parent, please reinforce this at home (you can sort different types of cereal you happen to have).  If you are another teacher in a common core state, what specific activities do you do to help your students sort by count?  We aren't having any trouble sorting by size....  I think some students got confused, putting small, medium and large things in order instead of least to greatest. 

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