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Organize math centers for students in Kindergarten, 1st grade, or 2nd grade as a teacher can be a real chore, but my motto has never been more true – HARD WORK PAYS OFF! Kindergarten Math Centers work so much better when they are organized and ready to implement. Students seem happier and more ready to learn as well. I’ve compiled a list of 9 organizational life savers when managing and organizing my math centers. Here’s a quick overview of my suggested shopping list. Many of the items on this list can already be found in your classroom.
Storage is a huge part of organization in any classroom, especially if it involves math centers! Here are the storage containers I use to easily store all of my favorite math center games.
This may seem like a no brainer, but binders are so important when organizing units for the entire year. I like to color coordinate mine just because it appeals to me visually, but it is totally not necessary. Adding an extra layer of organization with page protectors is important as well. (You will be using these materials many times, so you want them to be protected and always at the ready.)
These serve so many purposes in my classroom. One of the most important ways I use binder rings is in my math centers for the games. They are a super easy way to connect game cards without losing pieces. Without rings, we lose game cards more often than I lose socks in my dryer!!! Keeping up with these cards has become a breeze with a simple hole punch and binder rings. I like to mix up the order of my cards within each ring so they don’t go in numerical order, and I usually divide my games into different sections such as 0-5, 6-10, 11-15 and 16-20.
These super cute and versatile foam dice from Amazon make practicing what we have learned even better. Don’t just do math centers in isolation without reteaching the content. These dice hold students accountable and make learning how to count fun!
I am a bit obsessed with my colored “jenga” blocks. Print out numbers and glue them or tape them with double sided tape on each block. I just write on mine with a permanent marker. Students can stack and build numbers any way they wish, or you can play the fun “Build it!” game found in my Kindergarten Curriculum Math and Me Unit 1! You can grab it here.
This probably seems like a no brainer, but markers are totally important! Did you know that research suggests that students learn best when they can see things in color? (Hence my love of Astrobrights paper, too.) Not only do I use regular markers, but I also love to use these bright colored dot markers for my students to mark up the center pages.
Students love Playdough, and I always want to make sure they know exactly how to use it. I’ve wasted a lot of Playdough over the years with it drying out, so we get serious about our Playdough rules and procedures. Haha!
I mentioned this briefly before, but I wanted to say it again. Paper (and I don’t just mean white paper) is a must in my classroom. Astrobrights paper offers bright colors – literally every color you can imagine – and the colors engage my learners like never before. You can scoop up some of this paper here.
If you’ve ever seen my YouTube video on my teacher must-haves, you’ve heard me joke that racing to the laminator at my school can sometimes be like participating in “The Hunger Games”! Volunteering as tribute gets tiring over time, however, and I just knew I had to get my own laminator. It’s been a lifesaver! I can’t tell you how often I laminate things because we’d be here for 203,820,101 hours. Yeah, that’s basically how long I laminate each week.
I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my must have organizational tips and strategies. You can grab the full list to keep with you here – or purchase the Math and Me : Unit 1 or Bundle to start your math centers today!
© kayse morris 2020 / legal / design by saffron ave
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