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

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## 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

## Math Bulletin Boards for Upper Elementary

Pinterest is full of well-designed and authentic bulletin boards for literacy, but very few for math. In fact, when I am planning my classroom, my mind goes straight to literacy instead of math. Once I realized I was doing that, I actively worked to change and add in more relevant and meaningful math bulletin boards in my classroom. This post shares SIX low prep, but ... Read More

## Activities for Early Finishers (Upper Elementary)

What if I told you that you could have plans in place for your early finishers without a ton of prep on your part? What if those "activities" were super meaningful, engaging, and directly aligned with what you were teaching? Well, that is exactly what I am going to describe in this post. Let's take a look at my favorite early finisher activities that will save your ... Read More

## Multiplication and Division Practice | Free Math Facts Take Home Kits

One of the struggles with teaching upper elementary math is that many of our students have not mastered their multiplication and division facts. This makes everything even more of a struggle for those students, especially when they get to 5th grade. Through a combination of fact drills, games, and teaching actual strategies versus just memorization, I am usually able ... 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

## Outdoor Learning Activities for Upper Elementary

The spring and summer seasons are the perfect time to take your students out of the classroom for some outdoor learning activities. Your students will be more motivated to work before, during, and after the outdoor learning activity. Outdoor learning is also an excellent behavior motivator for when your students have spring or summer fever. There are so many ways to ... 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