Saturday, October 11, 2014

#MyMathJourney Part 2- Spark Student Motivation

Happy Weekend!!!
I am just loving the Fall weather that we've been having!
How is the weather by you? 
I'm excited today to share part 2 of #MyMathJourney 
with you today. 

Part 1 wasn't huge, but it was the start of everything. 
Here it is, if you would like some background. 

I'm linking up with Head Over Heels for Teaching
Here's how I'm doing it in math!!!

 First of all I want to give credit where credit is due. I've been following these bloggers closely and have gotten some great ideas from them to help me get started on my journey!!!  Without this blogging world I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing... So, THANK YOU!

I've also done some purchasing from TpT. 
This was a great one to get me started!

I've decided to start small, but It's been going great! 
Here's a look at our 4 centers. 
Most days we do all of them, 
but it all depends on how many activities 
we need to get accomplished from our teaching resource. 
Our school is in the second year of Math Expressions. 
Some days are a lot more difficult than others,
but I have found that doing math stations helps
to break apart the different lessons that I need to teach. 

I start my math block at 8:45 and we all start together.
Typically my mini-lesson goes unit 9:10 or so. 
There are a lot of aspects of the mini-lesson 
so it takes longer than maybe it should sometimes.  
We do a lot of math talk, 
so that is usually what takes longer. 

From 9:10-9:25 we do our first rotation. 
From 9:25-9:40 we do our second rotation. 

Rotations are:
1. Small Group- With me at the back table.  I have set up groups so that everyone does this EVERY day with me. Even when our RtI starts and kids are pulled out for intervention, they will never miss small group time with me.  The would only miss a choice rotation like computers or daily centers. Here is a sampling of our distributive property lessons in small group. 

2. Independent Word Center- This is where they work on something on their own about the topic that I've taught for the day. Typically they do this right after the small group center, except for my challenge group.  Those kiddos start the independent center right after the mini-lesson.  I like this a lot because even if they have trouble with it, the activity really gets them thinking and working together to challenge their brains. When they come to work with me, we start by going over their independent center and talk about their thought process. 

Here are two kiddos working on an assignment after they work with me at the back table. This reinforces what I teach and gives them time to explore with the topic being taught. 

3. Computer- We just went 1:1 on chrome books, so I'm trying to incorporate a technology component each week in rotations.  Right now we're just using some websites that can help us with our basic facts.  A favorite right now is 
digitwhiz. Next week I will share a new site shared with me by a teammate. 


4. Centers- There is a new center for each day of the week. I mix them up. This is more for review and spiraling of materials. One day is a review center from an old topic, two days are activities that work on current skills we are covering, one day is a math journal so we write about our current topics and one day is a fact practice activity. 

Centers are laid out in boxes for the week.  Don't be fooled, they mostly look like worksheets, but they aren't the typical ones.  The sheet usually give directions to them to use hands on manipulatives to answer problems. There is not always something to hand in. 

I've been making season task cards to practice skills like addition with regrouping, subtraction with regrouping and place value. These are three concepts that they need to keep in their minds as we move on with multiplication.  So far they are really loving them.  Check them out from my TpT Store! You can buy just one or the whole bundle at a discount.

Here is a set from my Back To School Pack

Here are my fall centers. 

We then come back together and discuss
or do another mini-lesson from 9:40-10ish. 
This one is dependent on how much is in the lesson
 and what kids are having questions on. 

From 1:15-1:30 we have our third rotation
From 1:30-1:45 we have our fourth rotation

It's a split block, which is hard,
 but our intervention time is in the afternoon from 1:15-1:45.
 I like to run my classroom in small groups,
especially during RtI time
 so that kids don't feel like they are missing things 
if they are pulled from class. 
Also so I can get more time with students 
who need extra help or a challenge!
Since it's not in my math core time, 
those students who get pulled 
will not miss any new core materials 
or small group time with me. 

I'm only 2 weeks in.  
They light up when it's time to do rotations. 
On the days that we aren't able to they are begging to do them!

 When my mom came to visit the other day, 
many of them shared their favorite things with her. 
Most kids shared more than one, 
but for the first time I had the majority of kids
 talking about their math rotations being their favorite. 

I'm gong to share more later! 
If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know!
I hope you all have a great weekend. 


  1. Your math centers look so great! You can definitely tell it is making an impact when the kids get excited! :o)
    ideas by jivey 

  2. Thank you so much for this post! I love the idea of math rotations; I'm just having trouble finding a place and time for them. Do you try to get them in daily? You also inadvertently pushed me to start my first Donors Choose project! When you said you are 1:1 with technology, I knew I had to start advocating for technology for my kiddos in some way! We are missing out on so much by not having access to it daily. Thank you!!


  3. I am so happy that your math rotations are going well - they are a lot of work to get up and running but I think they make a huge difference!


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