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September 20, 2012


We started MATH rotations and I LOVE it!  

I didn't know how it would really work out, but when another pull out schedule was thrown our way I decided that I really need time to work in small groups.  So it's now been 3 days and I love it!

Here's the basic schedule:

10:10 We come in from recess - books are already on their desks, whiteboards are out, and timed math fact practice is done.

We start our lesson full class - Think Central is up on the projection screen with our math textbook showing, and the now!Board is running.  We go over the concept, vocabulary together, and do guided practice with the kids showing comprehension using whiteboards.  I only have 25 minutes to go through that part together before a student has to leave for his ELL pull out class.  I have to keep moving forward.  So far we've been able to pull that off with having a ton of examples to go through together.  He knows the material before he leaves.  

10:40 comes and we switch to MATH rotations.  I'm sure you have heard about it from other bloggers out there.  Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B, Tara from 4th Grade Frolics, and Clutter Free Classroom have mentioned it as well - only I had to make it work for me.  Time wise I don't have time to do 4 rotations and it was important for me to do the beginning concept full class.  
So here's what's working...

I have 6 team in my classroom - I will always have 6 teams in the classroom...

So it forms a nice and even 3 groups

Teams 1 and 2 group together, 
Teams 4 and 6 group together,
and Teams 3 and 5 group together - 
it's all how I have them sitting in the classroom that they are near each other.

We have been doing 10 minute station rotations.

11:00 - 11:10

M is for Math Facts
One group heads over to the carpet (I've been switching who goes first) and works on the activity of the day for math facts.  Today we reviewed our addition facts since for some they keep forgetting the addition since they have been doing multiplication for so long.  This is an independent station - no talking - no moving around - we made up an anchor chart to remember the rules.

A is for At Your Desks
This is my class work group.  This is going over the class work independently (or with my help if needed).  This only takes them a couple of minutes to complete - it's the front side of the homework sheet - so afterward I've been pulling them up to the carpet to work on our IXL/Think Central skills using the now!Board - just more review with using their whiteboards.  They love to get our Smart Score as a class up!  I love technology in the classroom.

T is for Teacher Time
Well, at this point in time I am going over the classwork with the students, but eventually I would love to be able to have math conferences during this time - as some of the lessons are so easy that they really won't need me standing over their shoulders.  

H is for Hands-On Review
This group is in the other corner of the room.  Today they did something independently, but yesterday they worked with a partner.  We brainstormed what this group should look and sound like as well.  I want to have this station be a spiral review of sorts.  We don't have a lot of manipulatives to use, but so much is easy to do with just using a whiteboard.  

I know it's only been 2 days, but I feel like I know so much better who is really struggling with Math in my class.  It's so neat to be able to watch the 10 kids who are right there working on their problems and seeing their papers at the same time - who is having a hard time with simple addition/subtraction... seeing up close and personal the kids that word problems are difficult for - the math text is only going to get harder!  Since their desks are close to each other it's not like I'm having to do a big lap of the classroom.  The other groups have been doing a great job staying focused and they are engaged - and since I'm standing up when they are all sitting down on the ground, well it's easy to see who needs some redirection.

When we come back together after all 3 rotations, I just have to assign the homework problems.  

Something I just found today - Think Central has web activities and songs for each lesson!  There is a little animated creature that starts grooving as the song sings about the vocabulary words that the kids encountered.  I think that will be a built in bribe.  If they are ALL making the right choices during station time, then we will listen to the song - if not, then it's not a big deal.    

Yay for MATH!


  1. I love math rotations! I do only 3 rotations, Facts, Skills, and Teacher. I wouldn't teach any other way! In fact one day we had to do a district preassessment and didn't have time to do rotations, the kids were all super bummed. The next day, they all checked with me that we WERE having rotations. You will be surprised at how much they love the rotations!


  2. I really want to start rotations. We haven't started yet. I am struggling with what to do for the hands on...problems on the dry erase board, a worsksheet in a dry erase pocket, dice multiplication, multiplication war with decks of cards? Any ideas for hands on division? Here is a post I did where I made a checklist for them to use for the rotations:

    ~April Walker
    The Idea Backpack

    1. So far the past 2 weeks I've done the following for hands on review - each time they go to it they have to bring their whiteboard, marker, and eraser:
      *Rounding practice - cards with a number and what to round to on the front, on the back has the answer for them to check.
      *Greater Addition/Subtraction - paper in a protecter with place value lines, they dropped a dice and wrote that number on the line. After 8 numbers they had to add it up, then give it to their partner to check their answer by subtracting.
      *Math Fact Bingo
      *Properties of Addition review sort - cards that they had to match with what type of property it was
      *Place Value/Rounding Review game found on TPT

      Hope this helps!


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