Where to Start
Before you can organize your centers, think of where your students are in their learning. The best way to plan for this is to use the Exit Tickets from the whole group lesson as a daily assessment. I like to use these frequently, as they are a more in the moment assessment rather than waiting until the end of a module test.
I create groups out of these Exit Tickets. This process only takes a few minutes, because the Exit Tickets only have a short quick assessment with a few questions.
Fluency is where I find most of my students need the extra practice. I want them to be confident in knowing basic math facts. I assess the students regularly using the Practice Book pages and flashcards with data tracking.
Beat the Clock: Students practice given facts inside of a sheet protector with a dry erase marker and a small digital timer. The students see how many facts they can solve within a minute. They count up their correct facts and then try to beat their score.
The students love to compete with the timer and it takes out that feeling of not meeting a score of a partner. Each student is focused on their own goals and time.
Ball Toss: Write facts all over a beach ball in random order. Students toss the ball to one another and answer the fact that lands closest to their right thumb.
These centers are easy to differentiate by simply changing the facts.
Sometimes you will have students who are great with fluency, but difficulty applying it to that day’s content. Here are some centers that could help strengthen those skills:
Tech Time: You can assign students computer games in that content area using chromebooks, desktop computers, or ipads. Any technology that you have available in your classroom will work!
This is easy to differentiate to students because there are so many different skill area games to choose from. You can simply provide students at this center with a link and they will be provided with a specific game of your choice. One website with many math skills that works well for this is abcya.com. This is a free site with a great amount of math games for you to provide your students with.
Google Classroom: You could also provide students with an editable practice slideshow using Google Slides. If you use Google Classroom, you can create an assignment for students. This can be organized in a “choice board” format as well and students choose assignments on a rotating basis.
Problem Solving Center:
Students need to continue to practice their problem solving routine and embed new skills to become independent. This center is differentiated by changing the type of application problems for students to solve.
RDW: READ, DRAW, WRITE! When students are in this center, they are provided with problems to solve. You can have a variety of ready made problems for students to solve on hand like these. I provide a variety of problems for students to choose from. The students really put in good effort to complete all of the parts of the problem.
Centers for student learning and reinforcement is a great way to keep students engaged and on track with their learning at a variety of levels!
- Classroom Teacher
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