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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tried It Tuesday {Math Workshop Games}

Happy Tuesday friends! I hope your week is off to a great start! I am in countdown mode for a two week spring break. We have this week and next week, then a two week spring break! Wahoo!!

It's Time for Tried It Tuesday! 
What have you tried at school or home?
If you've never linked up with Tried It Tuesday, just link up any idea school or home related and what worked or didn't work. Simple! 

My Tried It:
Math Workshop Games
I have blogged about how I started using math workshop this year during my three 80 minute math blocks a day here and here. During the "Hands On" rotation, students work on centers from my math bins. I have eight drawers in this cart from Lakeshore Learning.
Students absolutely LOVE the math "games" hands down more than any other center choice. They are so excited when I introduce a new game as a center. They are allowed to play the games at center time but also have to work on the other independent activities. They would only play the games if I let them though! Students who are fast finishers on our daily math meeting that I open the class with, have anywhere from 5-10 extra minutes and during that time, they can grab a quick game to play.  

We just finished our fraction unit, and students loved the matching/go fish game that I made several years ago as part of four fraction math centers.

One way I have found to help organize game pieces is to make two copies of the cards and laminate the cards onto a colored sheet of paper. 
I use two different colors and it is super easy to keep the stacks together!

This is the "Monster Half Smack" game from Monster Fractions. Students compared fractions to the benchmark fraction 1/2 and are able to keep fractions equivalent to 1/2 if they "smack" it first. The other cards go on the game board next to < or > than 1/2.
The concept we just finished last week was 4.NF.4 multiplying fractions addressing:
CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.B.4b: Understand a multiple of a/b as a multiple of 1/b and use this understanding to multiply a fraction by a whole number. 
CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.B.4c: Solve word problems involving multiplication of a fraction by a whole number, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem. 
The students are in love with this "Monster Land Race to the Finish" math game where they must find a fraction of a whole number to determine how many places they move on the game board. If they answer the problem incorrectly (partner checks using the answer key), they don't move on that turn. They start to master this concept quickly when there is a game for it! Here is the bin I have this game in with two sets of cards (two different back colors to keep packs organized). 
This is part of this math pack and also includes another center with word problem task cards.
During the last Teachers Pay Teachers sale, I snagged two great game packs by Angela Watson. I'm really excited to use these geometry partner games.
I laminated game directions and put pieces in baggies to place in bins later.

What have you tried recently? I would love to hear about it!

This link up will be open all month. Link up anytime! 
New link ups posted the 2nd Tuesday of the month.


  1. I have always wanted to do centers in math, but I found when I was doing centers in L.A. it was really hard to keep up. I felt like I was always behind thinking of what next weeks centers should be. How did you build up your centers? Did you do this over time?


    1. Hi Kathryn, This is the first year that I have tried the "math workshop" approach but I did task cards before in math when I also taught ELA. I am fortunate that we are departmentalized now for the sake of organization. I only have to worry about math centers. I have eight choices at a time and all eight drawers are definitely not changed out each week. Students can only complete two to three centers a week and sometimes it takes more than one rotation to complete a center. I change them out a few at a time when most students have finished a particular center or I feel that the class has mastered that skill as a whole. I keep track of completed centers on a chart posted in the classroom for each block. I can take a picture and add it to this post tomorrow.

      I started with some centers laminated a couple years ago (when I taught math) and have slowly been adding to the choices this year. They will last for years to come. I would love to answer anymore questions you have. I'm not an expert and always learning by trial and error. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Awesome organization!! I love just being able to pull that bin out and get right to work! I'm using your Monster Fractions and your Line Plots with fractions this week!! My kids think they're just having fun (well, they are!! but they're learning too!). Thanks for hosting!
    ~Joanne xoxo
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. I don't teach math but I can always get ideas for organization or games by looking at your centers! :)

    Mrs. Spangler in the Middle

  4. Hi Holly! Your math games are fabulous. Extremely hands-on and fun! I have a random question for you. How do you get all of your Tried It Tuesday posts to show up on your Tried It Tuesday page?

    Elementary School Garden