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Grade:
ElementarySubject:
Mathematics |

Posted Fri May 23 11:43:00 PDT 2003 by Sheila ().

Math Centers Galore-copied from others who posted on Primary Teachers Net ChatboardThis is such a great collection of ideas that I have gotten

from the Teachers Net Chatboards. I think it's worth

sharing with everyone again. Hope it helps some of you!

Sheila

*"money center" - they roll a die to determine how many

coins to combine and count the value of (if we're working on

dimes and nickels, they roll once to see how many dimes and

again to see how many nickels). I make a worksheet for them

with headings (dimes, nickels, pennies, how much?) in

columns. They write the number they roll with the dice for

each coin and then count up the total using play coins.

It's really easy to check and they love doing it.

*They also like the domino fact family center. We turn over

the domino combinations we want them to work on, they draw a

domino from the middle of the table and then write the

number family facts - easy to check.

*Playing card games to practice math facts to 10 - there are

so many of these and you can make up your own - are also a

favorite.

*Pattern blocks - trace and divide into fractions

*Toss the Dice Addition - toss the dice and add (write the

equation) - get the blank dice and put numbers through 9

*Fraction Dominoes - found this at Walmart and it's great

(start matching the colors and then they advance on their

own from there and begin to understand fractions)

*Partner Unifix patterns - take turns making a pattern of 10

pieces and the partner has to keep it going for 10 more

*Games---types of bingo (add, sub, mult, div, time) pattern

blocks to build with, geo-safari (kids love it), easiest and

best thing I have done---make a game board (I teach themes

so I have one for every theme) I cut out clipart and glued

them onto a poster board to make a gameboard. I wrote move

back 2 spaces, jump ahead 1 and made a place where they

could slide across. Place a deck of cards and playing

pieces and a dice in a baggie. They turn over top two cards

and +,-,X if they get it correct they roll and move that #

of spaces. They love it and will play for hours.

Math: Dice games, addition and subtraction games, money

bags(play money in bags and numbered..kids count and write

down the number of the bag and how much is

inside.)measurement bags (like Money Bags but with Measuring

instead) tangram pieces, holey cards, flash cards, Smath

(Scrabble but with numbers)

Math Center: -- In this center one would find manipulatives

and games that reinforce your grade level skills. Some

materials that would be kept at a math center are: plastic

counters, pattern blocks, magnetic shapes and numbers, Base

Ten Blocks, tangrams, graph paper, magnetic board, dice,

calculators, play money, timer, geoboards, attribute blocks,

scales, fraction models, measuring instruments, Math Geo

Safari, playing cards, math related books, linking cubes,

anything with numbers, old textbooks. The math center can

also be set up for daily graphing and it might have an

estimation station. A very good place would be near the

calendar board.Computation:

*laminated cards with boxes for the answer (clip these to

dry-erase board)

*Timed addition and subtraction tests (digital timer...they

have 1-3 minutes depending on the test. They love to beat

their previous time!

*addition and subtraction dot-to-dot pictures

*Invisible answer computation sheets (from a Homework Helper

book...not sure of the publisher, it's at school) I have

these laminated and they use a vis-a-vis to mark their

answer. Then they take a red cellophane "wand" and scan

over their paper...the answers are hidden in boxes beside

each equation and they "magical appear" when they look

through the wand.

*Equation dice toss...roll 2 dice and figure the sum...write

the equation above the sum on a number grid. First player

to fill a column is the winner.

*Store (money) They are given a set amount of money and some

catalogs ...they have to keep a tally as they

"shop"...grocery store ads, book club order forms, menus,

Christmas toy catalogs are all good for "Store"

*Valuable words (money) I put up a chart with the alphabet

listed. Beside each letter I put coin stickers (pennies,

nickels, dimes) They take their list of spelling words for

the week and find the value of each word. Sometimes I put a

dictionary in the center and challenge them to find the most

expensive word...they go through MANY trying to find a high

value word!

*Taped quizzes...I record myself giving a short quiz. They

listen, work the problem, then check. It's fun if you can

get other teachers and administrators to tape a couple for

you too...the kids love hearing people they know!

*Sum Time...it's a set, comes in a little briefcase. We got

it at the Learning Toys store. There are cards with holes

punched in them. The children use the provided number tiles

to find the answer. If the answer is incorrect, the tile

won't fit.

*File folder math activities

*Time stories...I tape a story I make up..."I got up at 7

o'clock and read for an hour. What time was it then..." I

provide the children with copies of blank clocks (from a

clock stamp...but they could make their own if you are

limited on copies)They have to draw the hands on the clocks

to show the different times I'm talking about!

*Domino equations (often interchanged with "math

games")Choose a domino, write the equations using the number

of dots on each side, write the sum.

Manipulatives:

*Pattern Blocks...creating pattern block walls, creating

symmetrical designs with a partner, creating a design in

with blocks and a hinged mirror and then copying the larger

reflected design, using templates and finding which blocks

have to be used to fill the shape exactly, fraction practice

(a trapezoid is 1/2 of a hexagon...)

*Unifix cubes...pattern trains, probability, concrete bar

graphs, greater than/less than games, even/odd games

*Multilink cubes...(many of the same activities as Unifix

cubes) 3-D shapes (geometry)

*Geoboards...numeral writing, patterning (with Unifix cubes

on top of the pegs), patterning cards (with rubber bands,

geometric shapes, area, perimeter, "Dots" (you know, that

game you play where you try to create boxes by connecting

the dots...you can do the same with geoboards and rubber

bands, they place a color tile in the box when they make

it...lots of critical thinking, observation, and strategy

with that one!)

*Color Tiles...patterning, probability, area, perimeter,

symmetry, acting out equations

*Wooden Cubes...patterning, probability, 3-D shapes and

designs, width/length/height ("build a shape that is 4

blocks wide, 6 blocks long, and 2 blocks high...what shape

is it? rectangular prism)

*Junk Boxes...a lot like Work jobs, I use them to "act out"

an equation, patterning, classification, attributes(I have

keys, pom-poms, golf tees, bottle caps, milk jug rings,

square bread clasps, marker lids, seashells, beans, pebbles,

dog biscuits, buttons, marbles, seed packets, pasta,

Christmas lightbulbs, squares of wallpaper, and postage

stamps, to name a few)

*Tangrams and Pentominoes...much like pattern

blocks...figuring out designs from templates and creating

their own.

*GAMES-Kids love this center, of course, because they just

think they are playing! I have made several game boards from

poster board and file folders. The poster board ones either

have paint splotches in a path with little pictures or die

cuts to decorate. Many are made from daily calendar

pictures (You know, those pad desk calendars...I prefer

Disney Days) I cut out the pictures and glue them in a path

around the board. I add things like "Jump ahead 2 spaces,

go back to start, roll again, lose a turn" and laminated

them. Then, I went to Toys R Us and bought those little

plastic

character figurines (Pooh, Simba, Snow White, etc.) that

they use for playing pieces and some dice. Often times I

just put out the board, playing pieces, die, and a stack of

addition/subtraction cards. One child takes a card from the

stack, works the problem (mentally) and says the answer. If

the other player agrees it is correct, the child gets to

roll and move that many spaces. If they get the problem

incorrect they don't get to roll. This is a popular game

and all I have to do is change out the board and the cards.

Sometimes I use money cards where they have to say the value

of the coin combination. Sometimes I use clock cards where

they have to say the time. If you wanted, you could make

these self-checking by writing the answers on the front.

Instead of the first child picking the card the buddy picks

the card and reads the problem FOR the other child. The

child answers and the buddy can look at the card to see if

they are right. (In the years I've been using this center,

though, the kids have done fine with just plain cards...if

there is a disagreement, they find another child close by to

ask.)

*Addition War...played with 2 decks of cards (Ace through 10

only) Played like regular War except they put 2 cards out at

a time and add them together, largest sum gets all 4 cards.

MATH CENTER activities (cont.) from Dawn on teachernet

File folder boards are made by using stickers to make the

path or to decorate with and then laminated. Milk jug caps

with stickers on them make great, inexpensive playing

pieces. Some of the game boards are shower curtains that

they spread out on the floor. (I have drawn the path and

decorations with markers) They use Beanie Babies for the

playing pieces. I also like to use vinyl table cloths. My

game area is close to my whole group area so there is room

to spread out big game boards. The games are basically the

same but changing the board makes it exciting!

*Tic-Tac-Toe...They draw this on the dry-erase board. If

they answer the problem correctly they get to put their

mark. I also die-cut 2 sets of big X's and O's, laminated

them and on the back of one set I put a piece of magnetic

tape. I use a big cookie sheet with colored masking tape on

it to make a tic-tac-toe board or they can draw one on the

chalkboard that is magnetic and play the same way. The

other set they use on the floor using yardsticks to make the

tic-tac-toe grid. Variety is the key!

*Addition, Subtraction, Time, or Money Concentration: played

like regular concentration except they have to match the

problem to the answer. (This is a nice QUIET game!)

Dominoes...each player chooses 6 dominoes, they take turns

to try to match the ends. If there is no match they have to

choose another domino from the "pool" until they find one

that will play. The first one to match all his/her dominoes

is the winner.

Bang!...I made Pringles cans to look like a stick of

dynamite. Inside are equation cards and 8 cards that say

BANG! Their little hands fit perfectly inside these. They

take turns reaching in and pulling out a card. If it is an

equation card they read the problem and say the answer. If

they are correct they get to keep the card, if they are

incorrect it goes back in the can. If they pull out a BANG!

card, they have to put ALL their cards back in! BUT LEAVE

THE BANG! CARD OUT! (otherwise the game would never end!)

They LOVE this game! (It also works well in a reading

center, the cards have sight words or spelling words on them

that they have to read.)

*Go Fish...I got this game last year and the kids love it!

It's not the regular Go Fish. This is a Fisher Price game

($5 at Walmart) It has 4 little boats, fish cards and a

suction cup fishing pole. The object of the game as it is,

is to put all the fish cards face down and take turns

fishing with the rod. If the bottom of the fish they catch

matches the color of their boat they get to keep it in their

boat. If it doesn't match, they have to "throw it back".

There are 4 fish with pictures on them (rusty can, old boot,

anchor, and a tire) If they get one of those, they have to

put ALL their fish back! We just added a twist to it. They

have to answer a math problem correctly FIRST to be able to

fish in the first place! The person that gets 4 fish in

their boat first, wins! (I also use this in my reading games

center.)

*Number, Addition, Subtraction, Telling Time Bingo...the

kids can play this by themselves (in pairs or triplets).

The cards are placed face-down in the middle. The children

take turns choosing a card and calling it out for everyone.

They look on their card as well so they are still playing

every time.

***Measurement and estimation/graphing center activities

Measurement: A LOT can be covered here since measurement is

not only length/width/height (non-standard as well as inches

and centimeters)...it's also area/perimeter, time/duration,

weight, and quantity. I start out with quite a few

non-standard measurement activities(w/all measuring

concepts).

*Students compare different objects (spiral, crayon box,

eraser, pencil, notebook, folder, etc.) and have to put them

in order by size, use a ruler, and label the length or width

of each. (This is a great place to practice math

vocabulary!)

*Body measurements...measure your smile, your hug, your

hand, arm, leg, big toe and find things in the room that are

shorter, longer, same.

*We do non-standard measurement all year (using a shark

tooth makes it fun and interesting!) the difference is,

later on in the year, we turn our non-standard into

standard..."this book is 4 shark teeth long. A shark tooth

is 3 inches so if I measure 4 of them, it's 12 inches."

*Time...get a digital timer, clock with a second hand, and a

stopwatch for this center.

***Measurement and estimation/graphing center activities

*To begin with, we do simple duration tests...fill a plastic

tub with water, provide a pile of baby food jar lids...some

solid, some with 1,2,3,or 4 holes punched in the top (with

an icepick) Students pick a lid and predict which one will

sink first. They place the lid horizontally on top of the

water and watch. They are sometimes surprised...it's not

always the one with the most holes! Sometimes if a 1-hole

lid has been used repeatedly and is very wet it will sink

faster than a new lid with 3 holes! HMMMM!

*Set the timer for 1 minute...how many times can you write

your name, count to 10, sing the ABC song? How many jumping

jacks, toe-touches, arm circles can you do in 1 minute? Kids

love competing with each other!

*Use the stopwatch and a list of activities, write how long

it takes for each one...tie your shoe, write the alphabet,

stack 20 unifix cubes, make a pattern with pattern blocks,

sort magnetic letters into capitals and lowercase, pick out

all the yellow teddy bear counters in a box, etc. Students

are very capable of working a stopwatch and a timer!

*Weight: You need a balance scale and a regular tabletop

scale.

*Compare different objects...orange, crayon box, bottle of

glue, pencil eraser, tennis ball...which weighs the most,

least...order them.

*Non-standard measurement of objects...how many teddy bear

counters will it take to equal (or balance) this paintbox,

ball of clay, bag of dimes, bag of feathers, etc.

*At Thanksgiving I buy 5 or 6 different types of small

gourds. I label each of them with a letter on the bottom.

They children have to measure the mass in teddy bear

counters and put in order by weight.

*Also at Thanksgiving I put a miniature pumpkin in the

measuring center. They have to measure the circumference

(with a piece of yarn and hold it against a ruler), find out

how many candy corns, paperclips, and unifix cubes it would

take to equal the length of the circumference string, find

the height in unifix cubes, and weight in teddy bear

counters.

*Quantity: I have a big rice tub. I also use a bean tub. I

provide many different containers (labeled with letters),

scoops, and funnels.

*They use the scoops and funnels (that's the rule)to find

out which container is the biggest (tallest doesn't always

mean biggest!)

***Measurement and estimation/graphing center activities

*They scoop, fill, and label on a paper how many scoops it

took to fill different containers.

*Sometimes I put a box of rubber bands in the rice tub.

They pour in five scoops and mark the level with a

rubberband around the outside of the container. Pour in

five more, mark it, continuing until it's full. Sometimes

it's every 2 scoops, or 3...a great way to practice skip

counting!

*Later they use actual measuring cups. I recommend starting

with beans (easier to handle and clean up!) and then move up

to rice. Sand would probably work too.

*Area/perimeter: I mainly just want them to get the concept

that perimeter is the distance around and area is the whole

space.

*I provide simple little outline pictures (Ghost at

Halloween, Turkey at Thanksgiving, Gingerbread man at

Christmas, egg at Easter, Dolphin with an ocean unit, etc.)

Then I provide manipulatives (often edible) to measure

around or inside. For example, for Halloween this year, the

kids had a picture of a pumpkin and a bag of popped popcorn.

They had to find the perimeter by placing the popcorn around

the shape and then the area by placing a layer of popcorn

over the entire shape. (Not an exact science, but enough to

get the point across!) Then afterwards, they get to eat the

popcorn. (mind you, this was just plain popcorn from a

bottle...pour a bit in a paper sack and put it in the

microwave for a couple of minutes ...works the same as

microwave p