Math Centres

Posted: December 1, 2013 in The root of the matter



Today’s class focused on math centres.

Jennifer had a few key teaching points that I am including in my journal so that I don’t forget them!

-It is important to start with 3d then move to 1d (3d is more tangible for students to look at)

-We are so used to scaffolding, moving up in small increments, and now literature is telling us to look at the whole and move down.

-We need to teach the following areas:

Comparing and sorting


Non-standard and standard units and appropriateness

Estimation- it is developed through experience

Benchmarks: as long as, as heavy as, juice box 250ml, about an hour

Ratios: I’m twice as tall as, half as heavy as

Jennifer also provided us with what educators need to provide in order to create good math problems:

-They must be meaningful and interesting

-Provoke children’s curiosities in creative cognitive and embodied manners (extending their thinking out)

-Be Flexible and Open

-Make use of manipulatives, diagrams, and pictorials

For today’s class, we first learned how to create successful Math Centres, (use once a week with additional help-preview, practice, extensions, can be used for all different grades and mathematical topics, Non-routine problems, adjust the instructions: depending on class competencies, spend entire 20 minutes on each centre.)

We were then able to explore these centres in a hands-on manner (we rotated through 3 centres every 15 minutes.) Being able to work on the math problems during centre time was incredibly eye-opening: I realize how invaluable math centres are to students, as being able to work with a partner and in groups can completely change your own perspective of how something should look (for example, the lidless box activity). Working in the math centres was also a challenge-our group could not figure out Jennifer’s instructions because we kept ripping the most miniscule pieces off of our triangles…which left us with micro pies…After Jennifer came around we all had a great laugh and a good AHA! Moment. As a future educator, I realize the importance of incorporating math centres into mathematics lessons. For myself, I was engaged, enthusiastic, actively problem solving, and was so involved with the activities that I was a bit sad I didn’t get to try out all of them!


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