I may earn money from companies mentioned in this post at no cost to you. Thank you!
This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
The workshop model of instruction is quickly becoming widespread across the nation as the best way to teach young students. This is a structured approach to math in which a teacher will provide a short mini lesson, then break the students into a variety of kindergarten math centers before reconvening the class to review their progress towards the stated learning goals. It’s essential, therefore, that your math center rotation game is on point so that students are given multiple opportunities to practice and master each math skill.
How To Set Up A Math Center For Success
Long gone are the days of a kindergarten math center as busy work while they wait to work with the teacher. It’s essential to know how to create differentiated kindergarten centers that allow students to work independently and still get success. Try some of the tips below for managing kindergarten math stations to build skills and independence.
Managing Kindergarten Math Stations
1. Partner up – any kindergarten math center can be taken to the next level by having students work with a partner. Not only can you introduce some heterogeneous math teaching, but the students will hold each other accountable to get the math worksheet or activity completed in the time allotted. Use these Food Friends Partner Cards to make picking a partner a peaceful classroom activity!
2. Self check clip cards – if you’re looking for activities where the students don’t have to come and pester an adult to check their work, then clip card activities should be your go to option in your math center rotation. Each of the clip cards will have a problem with multiple possible solutions shown. Commonly, there are 3 or 4 options shown, but there can be more depending on the skill to master. Simply mark the correct answer on the back of the card with a sticker or permanent marker and students can self-check their work. This type of math center can be used to learn a wide variety of early math skills. Check out some examples below:
3. Write the Room – not every math center has to be done sitting quietly. A write the room scavenger hunt is a great way of managing kindergarten math stations as students will get their movement breaks as well as completing more work than they would do on a simple worksheet.
4. Color by numbers – color by number worksheets are another great tool when you’re learning how to set up a math center. They can be simple number matching activities (color all the 5s in green) or comparison or equation work (color everything one less than 3 in blue). As a bonus, they are self checking as students will recognize when they haven’t used the right color for a particular shape and will correct their work on their own! Here are a few you can download for free:
5. Endless playability games – finally, if you’re looking for differentiated kindergarten centers, then you need to be finding games with endless playing variations. These include ones that lend themselves to games such as War, Snap and Memory so often require a deck of math facts or equations that the students have already completed.
The one underlying principle for any kindergarten math center is that you will need to teach students explicitly how you expect each center to run. This should be part of your first 6 weeks of school work so that when you come to run your workshop model math lessons, your students are able to work quietly and independently through their math centers.
More Fun Kindergarten Math
Looking for more ways to practice kindergarten math skills? I’ve got you covered!
5 amazing worksheet packs are included in this bundle covering everything from number recognition, counting to 20, subitizing, addition to 10, subtraction within 10, word problems, number sequence, comparing numbers, and much more!
Perfect for kindergarten students as homework, morning work, or no-prep math centers in the classroom! Have these on stand-by for fast finishers or substitute teachers!
Fun Books About Counting 1-10 That Rhyme:
Browse My Most Popular Math Printables:
1) Parking Cars Tracing Lines – More than 10 different tracing line patterns to choose from, all of which help with pencil control.
2) Scarecrow Arrange By Size – 3 different scarecrow-themed image sets that they will arrange from smallest to biggest.
3) Bumblebee Addition Game – Solve the sum and help the bee land on the correct flower!
4) Farm Shapes Mats – Use playdough, pompoms, stickers etc to learn 2D shapes.
5) Popsicle Stick Number Formation – Kids will love forming the numbers 1 to 10 when ice cream and popsicles are involved!
8) Counting Colorful Bugs – This printable book will help kids count to 10 while also learning about color words.
9) Humpty Dumpty Numbers – In this printable game, your students will practice number recognition using 1 dice or simple addition when using 2 dice.
10) Build A Number Santa – Match the number to the correct number word, tally mark and domino to form a Santa Claus