Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chapter 3 Getting Started

When and where do I begin?
I use math stations in my classroom and have for many years so I feel pretty good about beginning in the fall. I do have exploration in the fall so that the children get all of the "play" out of the way. And I do model how to use the materials before putting them out, but I do not think I do enough modeling.I like the mini-lessons on how to use things and letting the children model how to work at the station. Another area that I need to work on is the sharing time. Sometimes the next day in my math lesson a child may talk about their station work. I want it to be more meaningful so I will plan a sharing time for next year.

I plan about an hour and a half for math each day.
My lesson is about 15 to 25 minutes and then I introduce math stations which now will include a mini lesson on how to use materials. And then I usually have 5 stations at the beginning of the year one of them being me. We rotate centers every 15 - 20 minutes. The children clean up and move around the room to the next station. As Debbie mentions in her book there should be some independence during stations. Next year I will add more stations as the year goes on and children can choose a station.

I will also be adding the I Can cards and the Math Talk Cards for my stations.

My main focus is going to be organization. I have taught for 28 years and my math stuff is still all over the place. Below is a picture of what my room looks like all packed up for the summer...

These are just some of the areas filled with stuff. It all has a place during the school year but packing up for the summer messes up any organization I might have had.  Below is a picture of a blue rolling shelf that I plan on using as my math station for current math stations.

The next photos are of boxes that I use to store my small manipulatives like buttons, chips, golf tees and so on. They are Chubs wipes boxes. These were the brand of wipes that were out when my children were young. They came in a box that looks like a large lego and I kept  them to store manipulatives.  They have held up for about 20 years.

Well I am excited to get started on chapter 4!


  1. I just read your post and wanted you to know I am so excited to be able to share and receive ideas and materials with wonderful kindergarten teachers. I have taught kindergarten for 25 years and have never gotten tired of it. I will be following you and looking forward to reading your posts.

  2. I have math supplies in many places. I am trying to purge and really think about how frequently it is used. I love the storage tubs. Thanks for joining our discussion.

  3. I am way behind in the book study so am just now reading everyone's blogs. I can sooo relate to you. I have been teaching about 30 years and have so many materials. I spent some time at school today (on a Sunday in the summer - ouch!) pulling things out of cupboards so now I have things all over my room. My plan to to organize my math materials by concept instead of having them all over the place. Camille
    P.S. I have some of those Chubs containers also. Aren't they the best?