Math Centers for the WHOLE YEAR!

September 27, 2016

I am always interested in what other teachers are doing over in their classrooms around the world?! What does their mini lesson look like? What does their guided practice look like? What about small groups?!I thought I would share today what my first grade math centers look like and when I use them!

We do math workshop in my classroom. So we begin with a quick warm up (blog post here) and then I teach our focus lesson (10 minutes) in which I explicitly teach and model what we will be learning. After that we go to guided practice, where my students will spend about 5-10 minutes practicing that skill with my guidance and support and observation.The next 30 minutes is spent with my students completing math tubs, working on story problems, using technology or meeting with me in small groups!

Every single day I have students working from my math tubs:

Inside each math tub is EITHER my one of my seasonal math centers which I am about to walk you through, or a print and play partner game. The print and play games are all black and white and only require dice, paperclips, cubes and a pencil to play. You can see more about those HERE.

Today, I wanted to share with you what my colorful, laminated centers look like!

These seasonal math centers are fun and easy to implement as they scaffold and get more difficult throughout the year. They also spiral so some of the centers throughout the year will review previously taught concepts. Each month has 6 math centers. Three of those centers are always the same format to make life easier for you and your students!


There is ALWAYS:

– A story problem mini-booklet
– A solve the room activity
– 3 whole group graphing/survey questions
– 3 separate centers which get more difficult as the year goes on

We start in September with Apple math:

Students practice basic addition and subtraction within 10, number sense and beginning story problems.

In October, we are all about pumpkins:

This month we focus on making 10, addition and subtraction within 20, and more than/less than problems.

November brings around all the turkeys:

We practice different ways to make a number, ordering and comparing numbers 1-120, fact families, and 3 digit addition!

We can’t do December without a little Santa Claus:

With Santa math, students practice 10 more/10 less, making 20, place value, and money!

After the holidays, we get back to it with snowman math:

In January, we focus on skip counting (with higher numbers), we review comparing and ordering numbers, and practice nonstandard measurement.

When February hits, we are onto Valentine Math:

This month students practice place value and expanded form, adding/subtracting 10, using true or false statements to compare numbers, and time to the half hour.

In March, it’s all about rainbows, gold, and leprechauns:

In March, my kids review comparing 2 digit numbers, practice double digit addition (without regrouping), solve missing number equations with number bonds, and work on geometry.

April brings bunnies and eggs:

In April, my students review place value and expanded form, they complete number sentences with +, -, =, <, >, they balance equations, and practice fractions.

In May we camp out with camping math:

This month students kick it up a notch and practice identifying 2 digit numbers many different ways, they complete missing addends within 2 digit addition and subtraction problems, they review time, and practice graphing and data.

Lastly, in June my kids work on Summer math:

These centers help prepare them for 2nd grade as they play all sorts of games that review all the topics we learned so far this year!

I made each and every center so that it aligns to the CCSS for first grade math (and I added in money). If you think these first grade math centers might be for you, take a look at them by clicking the image below:

Looking for more standards-based math games that will engage your learners and save you lots of time?!

Join hundreds of primary teachers over in the SJT Math Club:


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