Let’s talk about ideas for math station activities and games! First and foremost, keep it simple! I truly believe that students thrive on routine and knowing what to expect. This is even more important when you are expecting students to work and function while you do small group math instruction. Click here for 5 tips for running successful math stations! In my classroom I have four stations: technology, game, practice, and teacher table. Here are some of my favorite activities and ideas for each math station rotation.
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Math Workshop: Technology Station
You do not need to use every math website and app out there (or all the ones suggested here!) Find the ones you like the most and the ones that works best for your students.
My campus recently adopted program called ST Math and it has been a game changer. The program is designed around game-based learning and teaches math concepts without language! It’s truly incredible! Students have to struggle and figure things out.
Speaking of free, I highly recommend looking into getting a teacher grant for Reflex math! This is a great program for practicing math fact fluency through games. Students earn tokens to customize their avatar and treehouse.
Teachers love the word free…but even better is free, standards aligned! and engaging! Boddle Learning checks all those boxes. Your students will love being a part of a gamified virtual world where they will answer math questions to earn tokens. Tokens can be use to customize their avatars and homes. My favorite thing about Boddle Learning is that it is aligned to state standards!
Math Workshop: Game Station
Anything can be made a “game,” it doesn’t have to be fancy! Add a board game to a worksheet and voila! Game! Anything with dice, cards, or dominos, game! But seriously, it doesn’t have to be complex or need a lot of explaining. Anything can be made into a “game”.
The easiest activity I use for game station is math mazes. Students don’t even realize they are doing math. Want to give math mazes a try? Be sure to sign up for the freebies at the end of this blog post!
Not really a game, but I’ll call it a game: task cards! Sometimes I tape them around the room or pair them with a game board. Just be sure to provide an answer key if there are no QR codes for students to check their work. The last thing we want is for students to be wrongly practicing a skill for 15 minutes every day!
Other “game” like activities that students enjoy are pixel art (we love Math Tech Connections) and color by number pages. I don’t use them weekly, but I think they are fabulous for special occasions and holiday seasons.
Math Workshop: Practice Station
For practice station, I tend to stick with more paper-based activities, but not always! One activity that works most consistently has been a daily spiral review. This is the perfect way for students to keep old skills fresh, and practice working on current skills.
Other times I will use pages from our math workbook, if we have a school purchased curriculum, or math mazes. This station can truly be anything! Task cards, Seesaw assignments, Google classroom assignments, or whatever else you want it to be. As I mentioned in my blog “5 Tips for Math Stations,” I do tend to keep this as an independent workstation. Typically, I still allow students to ask each other quick questions or guide someone along on a difficult problem, but for the most part it is expected to be a quiet station in my classroom.
Math Workshop: Teacher Table
For teacher table I use any and everything under the sun! This is where the majority of my teaching happens, so whatever you might use in a whole group teaching lesson works at teacher table. Often times I will use dry erase pockets if we are doing a worksheet to help cut back on copies and paper waste. Sometimes we complete task cards together or simply practice a skill on whiteboards. I’ve even done teacher table lessons digitally through Google Classroom or a Keynote presentation that I airdrop to students.
Coming up with activities for students to complete during small group math workshop doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to be fancy! I hope you found something new to try and use! Want to try out math mazes, spiral review, and much more? Click on what grade you teach to sign up for free math resources for 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade!