March Madness Math Stations!

I waited all Spring Break to break out my March Madness Math Stations and we finally got into the swing of things today!  I revamped my math time a little to make things move along more smoothly (no kiddos waiting for me anymore!) and everyone is getting a fair shot at the iPads.  It's been a great week in first grade!

First, the math stations....

I got this cute clip art from Ashley Hughes last summer.  Yes.  Last summer.  I've been waiting this long to make something with it!  I knew March Madness was the perfect time to put these cute basketball girls and boys to use.  You can click on the picture to see them up close in my Tpt Store.

My goal for this unit was to focus on fact families, overall number sense, and problem solving.  My kiddos love scoot activities (anything that gets them up and walking around is a win!) and they have really enjoyed the ordering numbers activity.

Here's a peek into our classroom today. 
This station gives them practice adding two digit numbers.  They have been using rods and cubes to add the numbers and this kiddo went the extra mile and recorded all of her work!  
We used number bonds as our scoot activity this week and they were all over the room working on building these fact families.  Next week I'm going to step it up with the numbers now that they have mastered fact families through 12.   Before we did this activity they just weren't "getting it".  I was feeling frustration from everyone but now they view fact families as wonderful little puzzles of fun!  We are using them in our problem solving strategies too (more on that in a minute!)



Players line up includes number 1-100 and they choose five from the pile and put them in order.  If they finish early they take all 100 cards and put them in order.  They love this!  They are busily working throughout our math station time to try to finish the whole set before time is up. Yay!

Problem of the Day:
Here was our problem of the day.  We start math time with this every day.  They solve the problem in their journal and then they go to their math station.  As a wrap up we meet back together and talk about our strategies for solving the problem of the day.  I did the writing today because it was {almost} lunch time and I was really hungry!  I wanted to end on time today :) However, they do all the talking! Here is a little recap of our discussion.

Me:  When you solved the problem of the day, where did you start? 
Student 1: I didn't know how many they started with so I put a question mark.  (I drew it in black, and she corrected me and told me it should be red, because it's the red team!) 
(other students added in they put a box, drew a circle, or put a blank line)
Me: What did you do next? 
Student 2:  I knew there were 9 people on the team so I drew 9 circles.  (another student added they should have smiley faces because they are people).
Me:  What else do we know? 
Student 3:  We know they ended up with 12 people.  I drew a line to connect the 9 and the blank (question mark) and put a 12. 
Me: What strategies did you use to find the unknown number? 

This is where it gets good!  I was so proud of their ability to put their thinking into words!

Student 1:  I counted up from 9 to get to 12.  There were 3 more players. 
Student 2:  I started at 12 and counted back on the number line.  It took 3 hops to get to 9.  
Student 3:  (This one blew my mind)  I knew I had 9 players and ended up with 12.  I know my doubles and 6 + 6 is 12, and there is one 6 in 9 with 3 left over so you just need 3 more to get another 6. (Wowza!)
Student 4:  I used the fact family to find the missing number.  (this is when we drew the fact family on the board.....then we talked about which facts in the fact family could be used to explain this problem).

*warning* rant coming....
This is what Common Core is all about!  I have read so many negative things about the "new" math in the last couple of weeks (from parents and some teachers).  I didn't "teach" these kids how to solve these problems this way.  This is how kiddos solve math problems (if we would listen) before we teach them how to follow all the rules.  
Sorry...I just had to say that outloud before my teacher brain went crazy. 
*rant over*

Here is an example of what an average math journal looks like.  To move on to a math station they have to glue down the problem of the day, draw a picture (or show their strategy somehow), write a number sentence, and write a complete sentence to give the answer.


That's our math stations!  I love having one of those days where it feels like everything is coming together and all the hard work has paid off.  With this routine the best part is that I can sit with students and work one on one with the kiddos that are having a hard time.  I put everything else aside, pull out the manipulatives and talk our way through the problem. Nothing is better than that!

I hope your hump day was good (if you are on Spring Break sorry it's going by quickly!)  Tomorrow will be all about opinion writing so check back in with me to see how that goes.  Until next time, happy teaching!