Welcome to part 5 of my guided math series! Today we are going to be talking about how to create functional stations that run smoothly in your classroom and how you can differentiate your stations easily!
So far we’ve discussed how to set up your math block, I’ve shared a guided math breakdown, talked about establishing procedures, and shared some of my favorite must have materials. You can check out any of these posts by clicking on the links below.
Differentiation Made Easy
Differentiation can be easy when done right. Sometimes it takes a little extra prep but not always. My best suggestion is to use task cards with differentiated recording sheets.
In the example shown below, I have the exact same set of task cards but each group may be working on a different place value skill.
For me, I keep everything sorted by using a color system.
You can use any three colors you’d like.
Here is what I use these:
Orange – lower students, Green – average students, Blue – higher students
I’m a huge fan of these colored stickers to label each set of answer sheets. Each group knows what color they are assigned too. This way each group is using the same set of cards but each one is focusing on a different skill.
I got tired of trying to find all these different activities that were the same but also different for my students to work on. That’s when I took matters into my own hands and started to create differentiated stations that would meet the needs of all my students.
The BEST part… All activities include the same activity in three different levels!
In my opinion, I think it’s best to run each activity off on a different set of colored paper. I buy the large packs on Amazon and they usually will last me most of the year. Again, orange is for my lower students, green is average and blue is high.
Differentiated + and – Stations
In my addition set orange (set 1) goes to sums of 10, green (set 2) goes to sums of 15, and blue (set 3) goes to sums of 20.
As you can see, they can all be using the same set of manipulatves or different ones.
Below the activity is the same, it is just using different numbers. The same recording sheet is used for all three.
Here is a look into the subtraction set. I’m using the same three colors and they follow the same rules as the addition set.
Orange (set 1) covers the difference from 10, green (set 2) the difference from 15, and blue (set 3) the difference from 20.
Differentiating with Dice
You can also easily differentiate with dice. I bought this set of Whiz dice a few years ago and love it. It comes with over 100 dice with numbers up to 100.
For example, my lower groups, may be using regular dice where my middle groups might be using a 2 digit die and a 1 digit die, and my higher groups using two 2 digit dice.
Here, I am doing the same activity with groups but they are working on two different levels.
I hope this post gave you some insight on how to easily set up your groups and differentiate your small group instruction.
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