Math Centers – this is all new to me

So this year has begun and we just finished week 2.  This is going to be a great year!

The new thing I am doing this year is “CENTERS”.  I have never done anything like this before.  I have always had a more traditional classroom.

This last week we were working on Place Value.  In 5th grade it is our beginning topic, but it is mainly review for the students and it is a supporting standard in our TEKS.  We add on to their knowledge by bringing in the Billions and going down to the thousandths.  So instead of direct teaching, I put the students into four different groups and gave each group a different task on the topic and let them go.  I was amazed!  All of the students were engaged in mathematical talk and work almost the entire time.  No one was falling asleep from boredom 🙂 and I mainly facilitated the room.

From what the kids were telling me, they enjoyed it and at times were getting so into their activities that I had to ask them to quiet down so other groups could concentrate.  We still had whole group discussion and a little note taking to make sure everyone was on the same page and understood how to do it all correctly.  But that only took about 10 or 15 minutes of the 90 minute class.

I still have some bugs to work out of the system, and I will be learning all year myself on the best practices for centers, but this is a winner.  If you have any great activities for 5th grade math lessons, I would greatly appreciate the ideas.

Math Coach's Corner

Heather Simmons


Searching for the answers to education excellence

Megan Hayes-Golding

Still learning.

I Speak Math

Integrating Technology and Mathematics