I am a huge advocate for centers in the classroom.
Yes, they are hard to teach.
Yes, it takes a big chunk of time to teach procedures and to ensure that everyone will be on task when they are working independently or with a small group.
However, the growth that you will see in your kiddos is worth every minute you invest.
First, you're teaching them to be responsible for their own learning! How is that not awesome?
The thing with centers is that they have to be engaging.
You should monitor the centers for the first few weeks before you start pulling small groups, but make sure you're not engaging with the kiddos. You want them to be working on the task at hand, regardless of whether or not you are watching.
For math centers, I've found a few winners that I always include in my rotations.
Dominoes have become a staple in most primary classrooms. They build upon dice patterns and are often used to model decomposition of numbers, building student knowledge of addition facts. They are an excellent manipulative for primary students to use and these are some examples of how students might use dominoes in the math center.
Read more here:
Math does not have to be a boring black and white space. It can be creative and beautiful, but still students to develop problem-solving skills, logical reasoning abilities and visual-spatial awareness.
Working with Tangrams helps students create a concrete understanding of concepts such as perimeter, area, congruency and symmetry.
If you don’t have them in your classroom, there are many places online where you can print them out, allowing students to color and cut their own set. I’ve also seen Tangram apps for tablets, which are always a winner in my classroom.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that I have experienced all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
There are many, many more and I'll write more about additional centers in another post. Until then, I hope some of this information is helpful!
Elementary Teacher/ Teacherpreneur
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