Blog Switch - Math Stations

Please enjoy this awesome guest post from Erin over at Chevron and Crayons! Don't forget to follow her blog for awesome math and science ideas! Be back at you tomorrow with Five for Friday.

Hey everyone this is Erin from Chevron and Crayons! I am guest blogging for It Happened in 3rd Grade! I am so excited for my first guest appearance! Thanks Marianna for sharing your blog with me!

I'm here to talk about the dreaded Math stations! If you're anything like me, there isn't much time left in the day for stations or even small groups. I have gotten a lot of my inspiration from Step into 2nd Grade! If you've never checked out her blog, you should check it out. It will not disappoint!

I've tried to fit math stations anywhere I can and here's how I did! First things first,  I put all the supplies students will need in a tub( these tubs were one of my Dollar Tree finds). It took a few trial and errors to realize that along with the supplies, I needed to include instructions for that center so students could be more independent. I also like to laminate my game boards so they can be reused. I'm not going to lie, it took my students a few tries at using stations for them to get the routine! Model and Practice, Practice, Practice!

I like to start the year out with content students should have learned in 2nd grade and I add stations every time we finish a unit(or any time I find a cool new activity).We have been working really hard this year to master multiplication facts so when we have small groups I always try to incorporate at least one multiplication station. In these stations, students will complete a multiplication drill and then have their partner check their work. Once they have it completed and checked they have a game! I try to add a new game every week! Most of the games I have found on TPT but there are a few I have created! You can find them here!

 My classroom is departmentalized so I don't have to fit in language arts, but I do have to fit in two different classes in one day. We don't use math stations every day , but whenever I feel the need to change things up I try to put them in my lessons.

We start with a whole group lesson and then work our way into stations. I split students into partners or groups of 3 or 4  and every week the groups start on the number I have given them. For example, Group 2 will start on Station 2 every week. Students will move on to the next station on the next day. I keep a chart on the board in case they forget. We spend about 20 minutes on station time.

During an especially difficult unit, I try to incorporate myself into a station. In this station, we usually recap what went on in the whole group lesson and I like to let students tell me where they are on our learning scale. Some students often slip through the cracks when you are catering to 23-25 students at once, but  in a small group setting you can ensure you reach all of them. Some of my students also feel more comfortable sharing their struggles in a small group than in front of the whole class.
This learning scale came from Mrs. Cain's Creations!

Every once in a while I like to do an all day station day! This is especially good when we are reviewing for a test or when students earn a reward. I give them about 15 minutes for every rotation with a few minutes in between for transitions. Students are not allowed to leave their station until looks the way they found it. I like to use these really cute timers to let students know when it's time to switch. I circulate while students are working, but for the most part they are independent workers.

All in all stations are a great learning tool, but only if they are conducted correctly. My stations are nowhere near perfect and they are due a makeover. It may take a few trial and errors, but anyone can incorporate stations into their lesson plans.
 Feel free to leave comments and tell me how you do math stations!

Thanks Marianna for letting me take over your blog! Be sure to check out my blog Chevrons and Crayons!

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