At the beginning of the year, it is sometimes difficult to get a clear picture of how our students are performing in math. I know I have been fooled a time or two by test scores or class performance at the beginning of the year. I put together these one-page quick pre-assessments for math to serve two purposes: 1.) allow me to group my students effectively for math ... Read More

## Organizing Math Centers

Organizing math centers (or any kind of organization, really) is not my strength. I really have to work at it and find a system that works for me, trying lots of systems in the process. Through trying out these different systems (and I tried out a lot), I was finally able to come up with systems that really worked for me. On this post, I will share some ideas for ... Read More

## Launching Guided Math Centers with FREE Starter Packs

One of the biggest reasons guided math centers fail is because students don't have a strong foundation with the procedures and expectations. Well, a few years ago, I was making one big mistake that actually enabled this. When I launched math centers, I used math centers that contained skills my students were still "soft" with: skills they had not mastered and still ... Read More

## How to Launch Guided Math Centers in Upper Elementary

Do you want your guided math centers running smoothly from the start of the year to the end of the year? *raises hand*. Then, you need a strong launch. On this post, we will take a look at some guidelines to follow when you launch guided math centers in your classroom AND I will be linking to FREE starter packs for grades 3-5 so you will have all the math center resources ... Read More

## Guided Math Procedures

Guided math instruction (whole group instruction + small group instruction + math centers) is a super powerful way of reaching all of your students. But, things can go south quickly. Just like any other aspect of school, students need to be taught procedures and expectations for guided math. In this post, we will take a detailed look at the must teach procedures to ... Read More

## Scheduling Your Guided Math Block

One of the biggest questions I get about math instruction is "How do I fit everything in?" Many teachers email me because they want to do a guided math approach and incorporate small groups and math centers, but they are not sure how to fit it all in with their limited time or their large class sizes. If this sounds a bit like you, you are in the right place. Let's ... Read More

## Playing Spoons in the Classroom {Highly Engaging Review Game}

A few years ago, I was introduced to a highly motivating, fast-paced academic version of the games Spoons. After playing a few rounds and having a lot of fun, I knew this was something I wanted to incorporate as much as possible into my classroom. The academic version of Spoons is a great way to motivate your students to review almost any concept! (If you are not ... Read More

## Assessing Math Centers

Picture this: your students are working diligently on math centers. You have been pulling small groups and students are really starting to "get" the math concepts. Then, it is the end of the week and your students turn in all their math center work. You stare at the huge pile of papers, a bit daunted with the idea of grading all that student work. Can you picture that? ... Read More

## Math Tools {Lots of Freebies}

After seeing Create Teach Share's post about her Close Reading Toolkits, I knew I wanted to do something similar for math tools. Math centers are a huge part of math instruction in my classroom, so I created a toolbox of math tools and hands-on math supplies that my students use on a regular basis. I have included quite a bit of stuff in my toolbox, but some of the charts ... Read More

## 10 Ways to Get Students Writing in Math

Writing in math is more common and important in the elementary years than ever before. When I was in school, I barely remember writing more than a sentence in math class. Now, students are required and expected to write several sentences and even paragraphs explaining their math and justifying their answer. This can definitely be tricky as many students still think ... Read More

## Math Manipulatives for 5th Grade (Free Printable Activities)

Students love using math manipulatives, and they often help the students understand key math concepts. Students in the primary grades use manipulatives on a regular basis. As a fifth grade teacher, I try to actively bring in as many manipulatives as I can in my math instruction. In this post, I want to share with you my favorite math manipulatives, ideas about how to use ... Read More

## Increase Motivation, Engagement, and Mastery with Student Choice (Using Choice Boards)

One of the most powerful ways to increase student motivation, engagement, and mastery is through choice. Many of the activities and assessments that students complete on a daily basis are mandatory and non-negotiable. Keeping this in mind, I try to offer my students choice as much as possible throughout all subjects. Choice can be very powerful for students. For some ... Read More