Saturday, August 20, 2011

3 Days of Kindergarten Math Stations DONE!

Oh my gosh!  What a great 3 days I had with my new sweeties!!!  I was excited to start math stations with them.  Of course I "did" math stations last year with my kiddos, but I had not implemented Debbie Diller's format until mid-February.  I must admit, I was a little nervous.  However, I jumped into the deep end anyway.

I displayed and discussed my math stations work board.
Right now my students are heterogeneously paired up.  I will homogeneously pair them within the next few weeks.  

 I had my bins all labeled and labeled the spots where the students were suppose to take that bin to work.

This week my goal work stations goals:

  1. How to read the board.
  2. How to find their bin and work place.
  3. How to work with their partner (sharing, quiet voices, stay in one place).
  4. How to clean up and return their bins.
I am happy to report, by Day 3 they were semi-independent... Woo Hoo!

I did not have "academic" work stations in the bins... they just explored the math manipulatives (Debbie Diller's suggestion)

As you can see, they explored Geometric Shapes, Teddy Bears, and Snap Cubes.  They also learned to use the work mat under their materials.  I picked these work mats (shelf liners) up at Target.  This will keep their materials in a smaller area and cut down on the noise of the materials against the tables or floors.  I will appreciate this especially when we start using dice.

I was able to walk around and reinforce the great behaviors I saw and also do a little informal assessing. 

I will be back tomorrow to  blog about my upcoming work stations (both literacy and math) for next week. 


  1. Good for you! I will be thinking of all our wonderful work this summer as I go in to set up my classroom. Wish me luck.

  2. Awesome Deedee! I have math work stations in the front of my mind as I set up my room...2 1/2 more weeks until our first day!
    Angela Just Love Teaching!

  3. Congrats!! We've been exploring manipulatives this week too but I haven't really started stations yet. I plan to do that this week. If you can start it this early with kinders I guess I should get it going with my first grade friends!

  4. Deedee, A million thanks for this post! My kiddos start on Monday and I have been trying to get my head around how to begin. I was worried that I would chicken out on starting math stations right away, but thanks to you I will summon up my courage and dive in!!!!!!
    An Open Door

  5. Oh I am so glad you posted this! I am getting these ready in my room but was wondering if you could answer some questions that my brain is not clearly seeing right now!? I have read Debbie Diller's book also and love how they are just exploring now. Did you just have the same stations duplicated for these beginning stations? How long were they able to manage the first times? I am eager to try this and your post has encouraged me more! Thanks!

  6. Your welcome! I did duplicate the manipulatives so some kids were doing using the same materials (but I put them in their individual bins).

    They stayed at their stations for 15 minutes and grumbled when I asked them to clean up... They were into it!

  7. Excellent organization. It always pays off when you teach the steps they need to know and then reteach as needed. The "quiet voices" thing seems to be the biggest challenge.

  8. I jumped right in with stations week 1 too-and am so glad I did! The kids are loving them! I was surprised how quickly my kids figured out reading the work board. Now using quiet voices is another thing--but we'll work more on that next week! One thing that has been tricky for me is figuring out places for them to do the math stations. I decided to just assign each pair a spot in the room where they will always go to do their math stations, no matter what number bin they have. Is this what you are doing, or are you giving each numbered station a spot?
    Keen on Kindergarten

  9. Meredith~ I was blessed with a large room. I put the numbers in various spots around the room... so Bin 2 is always by my closet door (on the floor). Bin 7 is always on my world carpet. I think they enjoyed going to the various spots in my room.

    Of course, if a random person came in my room and say the numbers taped about... they might wonder what was going on... be at least we know!!

  10. Hi Deedee,
    Thanks for sharing this post. I plan to jump right in there myself with the stations. I will admit, I am nervous that they won't flow like I want...but you've given me some hope here! ;-)
    Oh and I love the tip of the shelf liner! It's on my shopping list! ;-)

  11. I'm so excited for you and completely frazzled thinking about how it'll work a week from now in my room. Did you start pulling groups already? I feel like that would take time and right at the start I will need to get them in the routine of getting materials, exploring, and cleaning up. then moving on to the next station! On top of it my school doesn't use whole group in math anymore so my whole math block is a bit quirky. I have 4 small group rotations so Teacher, Independent Practice, Station 1, and Station 2 which might be too much for my babies (Last year I had 3 I-IP-Stations! I know it will all work out but I'm still stressing!!

  12. Hi Lindsey. I know what you mean. Even after everything I learned and know, I still felt a little frazzled. I have not started groups yet. I am not even thinking about groups over the next 4 weeks. I want stations to run uber smooth. They may surprise me, but I think I will need the next few weeks to work on expectations and procedure.

    Lindsey~ Let me know how it goes!

  13. I love the shelf liner idea! Thanks!

  14. I also love the "math mats" I will have to use these! Thanks for sharing. After one full week with my kinders I still haven't brought myself to do stations....I'm hoping to start with the first week of sept - hope I can get my act together by then - thanks for the great ideas.

    Mrs. Peterson's Room

  15. This is just what I needed! I had a rough start last week (some students who were very uncooperative) but now that I have seen how you started your math work stations I am determined to dive in and start doing it too. Thanks for reminding me about starting with exploration! I can't wait to start modeling and get my kiddos ready for math stations!
    What I Learned in Kindergarten

  16. What size is your math mat? I finally bought some shelf-liner this weekend and can't wait to hear quiet dice. :)


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