Sunday, August 27, 2017

BUILD Math Centers in the Primary Classroom

Hello there teacher friends!
The school year has started for most of us, a new group of little faces, time to build new relationships, and if your are like me... then you are striving to provide your students with a wonderful experience during this school year!

I personally have many favorite parts during our instructional day. My two favorite parts are guided reading and guided math. They are my favorite because when I meet with my small groups I KNOW that I am meeting my students needs. I KNOW that I am moving them forward with intention and precision.
What  are the other kids doing while you meet your small groups? 

Today my friends, I wan to write about math specifically.

In order to have a strong math workshop you need to take the time to establish routines prior to releasing the students on their own.
I always take the time to discuss points like:

*intentional math talk
*how do collaborative partners work
*what do I do if if am done with my work.
*and  the overall expectation of each BUILD math center.

I first learned about BUILD math centers a number of years ago when I first started teaching 1st grade. I have done them ever  since and I have never looked back.
They are that awesome!
BUILD math centers are the ultimate management system. They allow me to conduct my small guided math groups without any hassle, and they provide my students with a meaningful routine that allows them to practice, review, and work on many important math concepts and skills in a fun way.

Look at the graphic for a peek of how BUILD math centers work:

Each component of the BUILD math centers will target a different mathematical dimension:

*Operations and algebraic thinking
*Geometry and measurement
*Word problems
*Number sense

To sum it up --> for peace of mind.

That's right. After I started doing BUILD math centers in my classroom, things just went smoothly. My time is spent TEACHING and not exercising crowd control. Honestly.
The kids just simply know what to do and how to assist each other.

In a future post, I will explain how I structure my math block. But for today, you only need to know that after our math mini-lesson, I aim to meet with at least three small guided math groups a day. While I am meeting with my FLEXIBLE small groups, the kids are working on BUILD.
They have a small contract per round of BUILD. The contracts look like this:

This contract is from my March BUILD math centers for 2nd grade. With this contract, my students keep track of what they have accomplished. They work on one BUILD station a day. When they are finished, they may make a choice like:

*Completing another BUILD math center
*STEM mats

After the children leave every day, my time is consumed by looking for  math and literacy activities that will meet their needs and enhance their strengths independently.   I always tell myself:

Some of the activities that I provide are aligned to 1st grade standards for those students who need the foundation or the refresher. Some of the activities I design to challenge and extend:

If you are interested in learning more about the power of BUILD math centers you may click HERE for the 2nd grade math centers bundle or HERE for the 1st grade math centers bundle.

Next week, I will be back with more information about how I structure my math block.
Hugs and best vibes,