Monday, December 1, 2014

Math Workshop - The Technology/Hands-on Center

It took a cup of coffee like this to get back into the swing of things today after a relaxing Thanksgiving break! Now that I've had a day to get back on track, I feel like I'm ready to tackle the three weeks left before winter break. My previous two posts focused on the teacher center and homework center...today I will continue on to one of the students' favorites, the technology/hands-on center.

This center is probably the most flexible center in my math workshop. Typically on Thursdays and Fridays each week, I check out 6 iPads from our school IMC for students to use. On the iPads, they can choose a math app from a list I give to them. There are a lot of great math apps and all of mine are sorted into three broad categories...Logic, Visual Reasoning, and Strategic Planning.

When we don't have the iPads, I often use the technology/hands-on center to incorporate math games into the class period. There are hundreds of great games to use in the classroom! I used to teach with the Everyday Math curriculum and still use a lot of their ideas for games. I usually try to have the game correspond to what we are learning at the time, but will sometimes mix in an old game as a review for my students. I have created some of my own math games to use in this center as well. Below are some of my class favorites!  Equivalent Fraction Memory and Percent Scramble are both free in my TeachersPayTeachers store, so be sure to get a copy! I also have some bingo games that I use in small groups at the center. Click on the pictures to find them in my store. I also love using the Factor Game and Product Game, which I found through NCTM. The strategy involved in the Product Game is great and kids absolute love it! Having a bank of math games to go to has been very helpful when planning for this center.


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Percent-Scramble-Finding-the-Percent-of-a-Number-1563526
Students find the percent of a number in Percent Scramble!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Squares-and-Square-Roots-Bingo-389267
Turn squares and square roots into a game!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Algebra-Top-It-War-777854
Students can practice substitution with Algebra Top-it!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Equivalent-Fraction-Memory-Game-393904
Equivalent Fractions Memory is FREE and comes with an easy and difficult set of cards! 
If it isn't iPads or a math game, I usually come up with some sort of hands-on task for students to complete. For example, while working on multiplying fractions, I had students flip over a fraction card (from my Equivalent Fraction Memory game) and roll a die to create their own multiplication problems. This is my center where I can get creative and try to think of fun new activities for students to try! Tomorrow I am going to be experimenting with the order of operation cards pictured below. Students flip over a "Target Number" and then need to use their numbers and operations to get as close to the target number as possible. I recently saw someone else post this idea an love it! (Sorry I can't remember who it was...so if it was you let me know!).


All in all, this is a fun center for both my students and for me to think of new ideas to experiment and try in the classroom. It can sometimes eat up a lot of prep time creating these activities, so I would recommend finding activities that are easily reused as a center! I'd love to hear any questions or ideas in the comments section below. Enjoy your week everyone!

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