Whether you call them Math Centers or Math Stations, you'll find loads of resources on this page for implementing them. I use the terms interchangeably, and they are more of a concept than an actual location in the classroom. In fact, math stations are often nothing more than a packet of hands-on materials with a set of directions. If you are thinking math stations have to include elaborate and cute display boards, stop right there! Sure, you can make them elaborate and cute if you enjoy doing so and have the time, but math stations can be simple and easy-to-implement, too. The methods described on this page work well with the "middle grades" of 2 through 8. For more information about how to set up and implement math centers, take a look at Math Stations for Middle Grades. Below you'll find some featured math station freebies including a free webinar recording, and you can find more math station activities on my Math Mini Pack page.
Would you like an easy introduction to math stations? Watch the recording of the Motivating Math Stations webinar to learn loads of specific strategies, management techniques, and games to use in centers. This was a live webinar, and you can view the full webinar recording for free or purchase a "webinar pack" that includes an Mp4 video of the webinar plus additional helpful materials.
Free Webinar - Full Math Stations Recording - Must be viewed online and requires an automatic download of a Java application. This webinar includes all introductory part of the webinar and the full presentation, but it does not come with the handouts that are mentioned in the webinar. Note: To jump into the main portion of the webinar, move the slider over to the time 11:30 which will eliminate the introductions. Click the image below and then download the Java application to watch it.
If you have trouble viewing the webinar in the format above, you can purchase the Math Stations Webinar Pack for $3.95.- This is the same webinar as above but it includes an Mp4 video for viewing on mobile devices, an Mp3 audio track for listening only, the handouts referenced in the session, the chat transcript, and printable presentation slides.
Helpful Resources for Math Stations
Math Stations for Middle Grades has loads of strategies and activities to get you started. The term "middle grades" refers to grades 2 or 3 up through middle school. In addition, I've created a number of Math Mini Packs that are perfect for centers. They include directions, game cards, answer keys and everything you need.
You can also find helpful information and free resources on my Super Math Centers link up on Corkboard Connections. I wrote a blog post with tips for math stations and centers, and I invited other bloggers to link up their blog posts that describe free resources for implementing math centers. If you don't follow me on Corkboard Connections, you might enjoy doing so by email or Google Friend Connect.
Students can complete independent work, partner activities, or group work in stations. You can find many activities in the Math File Cabinet that work great for stations if you add directions. Math Stations for Middle Grades has dozens of activity ideas and math games to use in stations, and each activity includes student-friendly directions. Take a look at some of the Math Station Freebies at the top of this page for ideas. When selecting an activity, ask yourself:
It's always tricky to figure out how to involve students in problem solving on a regular basis. However, math stations provide an easy way to fit in daily problem solving. They also allow you to differentiate instruction by using different levels of of problems. The Daily Math Puzzlers are a set of leveled problem-solving ebooks that offer a mixed problems which required students to demonstrate their work.
Catherine Douthard of Fayetteville, Georgia, alerted me to this idea in a recent email:
"Thank you for the excellent way you created, leveled and organized the Daily Math Puzzlers. It has become the perfect Math Station for my 5th graders to independently work at their own level, track their progress and practice those important problem solving skills."