Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Math Workshop Centers: Patterns Unit

I have just been loving math workshop lately. I used to have days where I would end my math lesson or go home and think to myself, "What did I teach today?" "Did I waste everyone's time?" "What else could I have done?" I can be harder on myself than anyone else and I hate when I beat myself up about a lesson. I know I am planning and teaching, I know my students are engaged and learning, I just need to leave it at that. Not every lesson is a slam dunk, but that's life. Which brings me back to the point of this post, math workshop. Almost every time I do math workshop, I end the block with a feeling of success. Whole group lesson? Check! Pulled small groups? Check! Fun, independent practice? Check! Informal assessment of student progress? Check! I love feeling productive and although I have been enjoying the way math workshop runs in my room, setting up the centers takes time and planning. 

Check out the link above for my post about how I run math workshop in my classroom. I have 8 centers per unit and my students get to every center at least twice before the unit ends. I am blessed to have a lot of resources to pull from for my centers, which makes prep a little easier. I thought I would share what my centers look like for our current unit: Patterns, Function, and Algebra (3rd grade).

Center 1: Computers- I have 6 computers in my room (3 desktops and 3 laptops). During math workshop, students usually visit xtramath.org, math magician, etc.

Center 2: Task Cards
I printed Ms. Winston's wonderful Pattern Cards form Teaching Oasis and created a sheet for students to track their card number and work.

Center 3: Pattern Building
Students select a pattern strip, write the pattern on the sentence strip, build the pattern using the blocks, then draw the pattern on their strip.

Center 4: Create a Pattern
This is a worksheet that I got from my teammate. It may have come from somewhere in the blogosphere or TPT. The students have to roll and record a number. Then students follow the directions to add or subtract the number repeatedly from a given number to create a pattern and write the rule. I use my daughter's old Gerber baby food containers to hold dice, player pieces, cards, etc.

Center 5: Game Boards
I have a bunch of different game boards from the Language Arts Froggy Game set I have. I take the game boards, along with dice and player pieces, and pair them with task cards. Students have to correctly answer the task card question to be able to move around the board. The kids love this center. I love this center. It is so easy. I have this center during each unit and just change out the task cards. These tasks cards are also from Ms. Winston at Teaching Oasis.

Center 6: Grab & Play Games
This game is from my Grab & Play Set from Lakeshore. Each game comes in a cardboard sleeve with everything the kids need to play. Stay tuned for my review of this set.

Center 7: File Folder Games
These games are from a box set of file folder games I own. I love them because they are bright, colorful, and come with all the pieces needed to play, including an answer key. The box set has folders for each unit I teach. Students usually have an opportunity to complete at least 2 folders before the center rotation is over. This unit I have included folder games on patterns, area/perimeter, and making change.

Center 8: Computation Review
I created this center on the fly, but it has worked out really well .The bin contains blank books and a container of glue sticks and computation cards. The students randomly select one addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problem and glue them on each page of their booklet. The students must solve each problem two ways. This doesn't really go with my unit, but with the approaching tests I'll take review wherever I can get it.

I would love to hear any other ideas you may have to help teach and reinforce this unit. See you soon!

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