Wednesday, April 30, 2014

AWESOME Math Station Resource, Anyone?

Do you use math stations in your classroom?

With the trend of incorporating differentiated instruction and more small group time, my class has enjoyed "math stations" at the end of the day while I work with individual students or small groups (i.e., intervention).

I have LOVED Daily 5 for reading stations, but sometimes struggle to find just the right math resources for workstations during this instructional block.
Even when we practice, and I take time to reteach math tubs, my students always seem to occasionally get off task because they suddenly just don't remember the directions for the activities.

Thank goodness for Casey Williamson, aka Second Grade Math Maniac!
She has an AMAZING product called "Take Home Math Kits".
click on the photo to check it out in Casey's TpT store! 
Seriously folks: LOVE this product!

I have only used it a short while, but the activities are very kid-friendly, and my students have stayed engaged the whole time during station choices.
Yesterday, there were actual GROANS when it was time to pick up and get ready to go home!
Gotta love that:)

Here are some photos of my students using just a sampling of what this packet has to offer:

Casey designed this product as a resource to help students at HOME (hence, the "take home" part in the name) to help them retain math knowledge, in addition to other homework.

These activities cover all sorts of standards from first to second grades.

Because I received the packet a little later into the school year, I decided not to go the "parent route" in implementation…YET.
However, I fully intend to use this packet as a take-home resource during the next school year.
Casey makes the use of this resource completely fool-proof, as she is passionate about improving the Home/School Connection (everyone needs that!)
She's included check-out sheets, tips for teachers, parent letters explaining the resource, and even answer keys you can include (for the parents, of course!).

BUT I plan on offering the games as a resource to choose during daily math stations, as well.
I figure I will get the most 'bang for my buck' this way:)

Students can use the activities at home with their parents, and parents can have a taste of what their children are doing during math stations.
I don't know about you, but many of my parents think we "play" during that time.
Well, obviously we do!
But it's relevant practice, people. Come on.
Wasted instructional time?
Ain't nobody got time for that:)

And no more excuses for not remembering those pesky directions for games and activities.
If students have practice at home with the activities, it is even more likely they'll be confident in playing or teaching others how to play the games that should be familiar to them.

Casey has stated that the goal for using this product should be for familiar practice, not for teaching new skills (as any good homework SHOULD).
Since we are getting ready to wrap-up our geometry unit, these games are getting ready to come into rotation:

We are just getting ready to start the measurement review from this chapter, so my students will have the pleasure of using THESE games, tested and approved by my very own "guinea pigs" (thanks, boys!):
 ---side note on this measurement game: The directions & recording sheet say to use the inches side of a ruler for the objects, but we have only used nonstandard measurement, so my students will use paperclips & "inchworms". I won't worry about offering the recording sheet for now:)
There are also a few activities that I am going to incorporate whole group, rather than for stations.
Check these out!

And this activity will have to be adapted slightly. 

We are gearing up for our zoo field trip, so I just KNEW I had to include these skip-counting puzzles!
BUT they are definitely geared towards 2nd graders (or very high firsties) as they use numbers in the high hundreds, so I will make a "CHALLENGE" set (printed as is) and a "GOOD PRACTICE" set, that will be 'white-out-ed' (I'm sure that's a word) over the hundreds value of the number.

Finally, my enrichment group will enjoy this resource with my paras and aides while I work with students needing intervention:
Never too early to introduce & reinforce repeated addition (aka, multiplication) concepts, right?

As you can see, this packet is extremely versatile.

If you want a great resource for parent involvement/home practice, this will do the job (that's the primary intention for the product, anyway)!
If you need additional resources for math stations in your first or second grade classroom, this works wonders!
If you want some fabulous enrichment activities for your primary students or fun intervention games for your intermediate kiddos, this will fit the bill.

Most teachers are looking for a product that will do a little more than expected…and this certainly does!

I am very grateful to have been chosen by Casey to receive and review this amazing product!
I only wish I had found it at the start of the year:)

If you're unfamiliar with Casey's blog, you should head over there now for  some really fabulous math (and other) ideas!

Second Grade Math Maniac

*caveat: I received no financial compensation for my thoughts…just this packet.