Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller

It's a blog party and we're talking about Debbie Diller's fabulous book, "Math Work Stations"....come join the fun!


Be sure to hop over to Mrs. Willis's Blog to start the party off...

Here's the pdf of the chapters and hostesses that will be starting off the discussions on each chapter of the book.

After hearing Debbie speak on her new math book in Nashville, I was sold on using stations (NOT centers) during my math time!  I've slowly been changing things over since that day in February, but it has been a SLOW process....I hope to get more done this summer! 

Here's how I store my games for centers at this time...seems to work for me...but I may change it up a bit as I see more wonderful ideas come through for the organization process in this book.  Organization is NOT a strong point for me :(

I have the games that are to be used at each station in a drawer with a number on the drawer.  This number corresponds to an area around the room with the same number label.  I found it was much more helpful to have the kids pick out the spot...then it's there idea and they own the areas in the room.  I will say that I guide their choices very carefully so that ultimately, the station is where I think it will be the best, but I make 'em think they're doing most of the designing!

These orange hanging file folder tubs (Go VOLS!) work well for holding the gameboards and pieces for right now.  This is where I store them when they are not in use. 

It's getting pretty packed in this one, so I better plan on getting some more this summer when the sales start again :)

In the 7 drawer tower, I put the stations that will be used throughout the day.  Each drawer is now numbered with a large number and a frog picture.  This number is also placed somewhere around the room so that the drawer comes out and goes to that area of the room with the child.  Then the pair can choose the game they want to use for that time period and play in that area.

Children are paired and organized so that they can go to a center during one rotation and meet me at the table during another rotation...not sure if I'm going to keep this or not for next year...I'm still working on my thoughts about how to rotate them through their centers and such.

No great downloads today :( Still getting my thoughts put together to see what I want to do.  I'd like to have some sort of recording sheet so I know where the kids have been and what they need to go to...would like to have one or two stations where they HAVE to complete a worksheet type paper so I can take a grade (ahhh yes....first graders have to have those grades)....maybe a rubric of some sort...lots of time yet to think upon this thought!  I usually don't like to have paper and pencil work at all stations...I think they get more out of it when they're working on whiteboards and thinking out loud...but now I'm just thinking out loud....
Any suggestions?


  1. Thank you for linking up! I like your orange bins! I'm toying with the idea of using bins vs. binder... bins vs. binder??? Hmmm... I have a few months to figure it out. I love getting all these ideas!

    Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

  2. Love the numbers on your drawers that correspond to places around the room. This will be such a life saver! My students all wanted to sit at my table or they all wanted to sit on the rug. I love this and I'm using it next year! Thanks for joining up with us!
    Ms. A
    Oceans of First Grade Fun

  3. It was actually a tip that Debbie shared at the conference....I'm not sure if it's in the book or not...I'm still trying to get my head in the game!

  4. I like the drawer idea as well. I bought drawers this year to go under a tall table to organize math. But I think this is a better use of them.

  5. Love the visuals! Thanks for sharing your classroom.

  6. You are the queen of math tubs and have offered so many great games through your yahoo group and wiki.

    I'd like to know how many kids you meet with each day you have math work stations?

    Thanks for all your inspiration!!

    Primary Graffiti

  7. It varies from skill to skill...but I don't like to go over 6 kids during a group meeting. I may not meet with them all on each day, but the SI group or (strategic intervention) group is at my table each day....then I switch back and forth between the advanced and the on level.
    The groups are flexible groupings so that kids move from one group to the next depending on formative assessments and observations. Some kids will be in the advanced group for some skills, but move to the on level or SI for other skills...
    lots of teacher observation.
    I'm going to try to use an app called confer this year on my iPad and see how I like it.
    Usually, I'm just jotting down notes on notecards for my reference.

  8. I love your organization chart. Mine is similar, but I don't have the teacher card...maybe I should add that next year instead of just calling out names. I also love how you use pictures instead of boring name cards! I use a lot of "recording sheets" with my stations because I have found it holds my students accountable and makes sure that they finish certain tasks instead of just playing around. But I agree that not every station should have a worksheet. I switch worksheets up with whiteboard work. Thanks again for sharing!