Math Centers Made Easy: Low prep, no stress, more time!

Do math centers make you want to pull your hair out? The prep? The organization...or lack thereof? What if I told you that you could have one set of centers that will challenge every learner in your classroom? Nope. It's not too good to be true! Check out my latest Periscope video below to see how it all goes down! 

...and just in case you are a visual person, I've got ya covered. Or you can read more about them right {HERE} or {HERE}

The set-up is simple! You place the center title {skill} on a file folder, laminate, and cut the top open. Attach to a cabinet or they could even be kept in hanging files in a crate. The response sheets work for every single level. Goodbye hours of prep to reach all of your students different ability levels. Hello hours of free time to create other killer lessons! 

For each center, the students simply need a response sheet and playing cards. #boom

It's as simple as this. The students create their own numbers with their playing cards. If they are level one, they may be working with one or two digit numbers. When they advance to level three (three digit)...and so on. Then they complete a variety of activities with those numbers depending on which skill they are working to perfect. Drill and's necessary. Especially in math. But why make extra work for yourself trying to change up centers and numbers each week, when your kiddos can do it themselves? 

Plus, they are super motivated to master a skill...and fast. Why? Because they get to work with greater numbers once they are ready to move along. For some reason the kids get super competitive (with themselves) to see how quickly they can reach greater numbers. Intrinsic motivation...check! 

There are activities for pretty much every basic math skill. Here is a look at how addition would work. 

Well, that's all folks. I will be back next week to talk about how I assess and organize these centers. Don't worry. It's coming! :) 

Click the links below to visit post #2 & 3:

If you would like to check them out in my TPT shop, click on any of the pictures below! These show each theme beginning with May! Or you can buy the bundled set and have them all in one place.  

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  1. Would these activities be too easy for 5th graders?

  2. I love reading and listening to your ideas. It helps to hear it both also helps to hear it again....and again. Sometimes it takes awhile for things to sink in. Each time I hear your center ideas I think of something new, something that I want to do in my own classroom. Or I hear something that makes me remember something I heard in Vegas when I went to your math centers class. I cannot hear it often enough.

    Terri Izatt

  3. You are amazing and such an inspiration! Thanks for taking time to teach to the teachers!

  4. I will be using math centers, in this format, for the first time this upcoming school year. I love the ease of use and simplicity of this product while allowing for differentiation. I'm a junior high Sped teacher, so I really need my kiddos to master basic skills. I have a couple of questions about your product. First, do you have a comprehensive list of all of the skills addressed in the centers that you could share? I was able to figure out some but not all, based on the activity names. Secondly, do you have any answer sheets that are modifiable to change up a few of the activities? For instance, I could add operation dice and have the kids work on OOO. Lastly, do you address any geometry skills?

    I love your posts and wish you were teaching my children!

  5. Love this idea!! Do you have any center ideas for literacy?

  6. I am loving your centers. I do have a few questions. Do you teach the centers to the whole class together, or just to small groups? Are there some who are allowed to do certain centers, and others who are just not quite ready for them (Billy can do division, but Jennie is not ready for it yet)? Do you just not have centers on the other topics (e.g. measurement, geometry, graphing, etc.)? Do you tell them when they are allowed to move up - like from 2-digit to 3-digit? I know you are doing assessment tomorrow, so maybe that will be answered then. I would have tweeted you, but this it too much to tweet. LOL!!!

  7. Would these math centers work for kindergarten?

  8. Are the cards included in your bundle? Also how many sets of cards did you have for each station??

  9. So I thought you answered this but I can't remember and feel silly for asking, but how do you assign them their levels? How do they know to just pull two cards rather than 4? Thanks for the create help with centers!