Setting Up Math Work Stations

One of the things that I love about the blogging world is getting great ideas that I can implement in my classroom.  One of the great ideas that I wanted to get back into was math work stations.  Since this is something new I'm doing this year, I thought I'd link up with Holly for Tried It Tuesday and with Kristen for her Math Centers linky party!

I've often had a variety of fast finisher activities that my students could choose to do after they complete their independent practice, but there was no real structure to it and some kids would pick the same activity day after day.

When I took over my current class in January, I was determined to implement work stations.  I began by teaching some of the basic activities that would be in work stations every rotation.

Math Journals: I purchased this fabulous product from Tara West:
2nd Grade Common Core Questioning Jar {122 questions}
I print off the journal prompts that are aligned with standards that we've already covered extensively.  I put all of the pages into sheet protectors and students use whiteboard markers to complete each sheet.

FACEing Math: I blogged about FACEing math a while back.  You can read up on that HERE. I think it's one of my kiddos favorite work stations.  I made 3 copies of each lesson and put them in sheet protectors. Then I put all the lessons into a binder.

When they go to this work station, they just find the lesson they're on and take it out of the binder to get to work. My kiddos solve the problems using their whiteboards.  I don't need to see their work, since I will be able to tell if they got it right based on their picture!

Facts: I use timers from the Dollar Tree and SuperSpeed Math from Whole Brain Teaching for my kids to practice their facts.  I also have flashcards they can use.  In the next few weeks I'll introduce Math Power Towers from Teacher Tipster.

Once my kiddos had these 3 stations down, I introduced how our work stations would run on a regular basis.

I have 8 rotations that we get through in about 2 weeks.  I split my kids up into groups of 2-3 and they stay in this group for the entire rotation.
In addition to the 3 work stations that I talked about before, I have a teacher work station where I review specific skills that each group needs, and 4 math bags.
Now I know this isn't the cutest organization, but it's working for me right now.  Since we started this so late in the year and I don't know what grade I'll be in next year, I went with function over style.  This summer I'll get something cuter I promise!

Anyway, I use these 4 bags for review activities.  During each rotation, I try to include an activity that reviews place value, measurement/geometry, money, and 2 digit addition/subtraction, because those are the areas my kiddos need to strengthen and keep practicing.

Well this post is long enough.  I'll blog another day about how I actually run my work stations and manage student work.  Thanks for reading through it.  I'd love to hear how you set up work stations/centers in your room.  


  1. Thanks for sharing such great ideas!
    I nominted you for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

    Check out my blog for details-
    Learning in the Little Apple

  2. Love these ideas! I really want to revamp my math block and it is so nice to see what others are doing.


  3. Great post! Full of great ideas! Glad to have found your blog... :0)

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  4. Wow! What an awesome post full of detail for setting up work stations! If I still taught math, I was going to give it a try this year. I use a modified Daily 5 in ELA and love it! Thanks for linking up and sharing how you are successful with your stations. :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper
    I LOVE your new(ish?) blog design (not sure how long it's been here or where I've been?!?)!

  5. I always love getting new ideas for math stations!! Thanks for sharing!!
    A Tall Drink of Water


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