How to Implement Math Stations that Run Themselves

Have you ever had a student come up to you during your small group math time and tap you on the shoulder to ask how to do a certain math station activity or game? It’s natural to want to stop what you’re doing and help them. However, this causes a lot of interruptions to your instructional time. Read on to find out how to implement math stations that run themselves so that you can save instructional time and maximize the learning!

Math stations for 2nd grade

I truly believe that the guided math model, teaching in small groups, and implementing math stations is the most effective way to reach all students.

However, I hear from teachers often on Instagram and in my Saddle Up For 2nd Grade Teachers group that they struggle with streamlining their instruction.

They end up losing valuable instructional time when implementing math stations. I’m here to help you streamline your math instruction and implement math stations that run themselves. Let’s dive in!

Common Challenges of Math Stations

Just like with any new strategy or routine, there can be challenges that come with implementing math stations. When I was in the classroom, I struggled with 2 main challenges. I often hear from other teachers that they run into these challenges too. 

Challenge #1: How do I minimize the distractions and interruptions at the small group table?

Challenge #2: When do you take the time to introduce new math stations? 

These 2 challenges can make it difficult to streamline your math instruction because of all of the interruptions, distractions, and wasted time teaching students how to use each math station activity. 

I remember wasting so much time devoting an entire math station round (or more) to teaching my students how to use each activity. In a 60-90 minute math block (or less), there’s simply no time to waste.

After struggling with this myself, I decided to try something new to overcome these challenges, and it worked!

Now, I’m here to help you reclaim your instructional time, get more out of your math block, and make the most of your small group time, because it truly is the most valuable part of your day. 

Math station missing number taco game for 2nd grade

How to Implement Math Stations That Run Themselves

After brainstorming for years on how I could cut back on the time it took to teach students how to do math stations and use the activities, I finally came to the realization that the basic direction pages just weren’t cutting it. 

Students need to not only hear the directions and understand them, but see the activity being modeled for them. 

That’s when I decided to create student instructional videos that would explain the directions to students AND show me modeling how to do each math station activity.

The students would simply scan a QR code on the direction page so they could watch the short instructional video. It’s like a lightbulb went off because this worked so well! 

I gained a ton of instructional time back. It also cut back on all of those little interruptions and distractions during math stations. My students gained confidence and independence as they were able to complete their math stations without my help.  

I knew I had to share this new way of implementing math stations with more people, so I took these short, instructional videos that I created and that is when Maximize Your Math Block was born. 

Maximize Your Math Block

Maximize Your Math Block is my 2nd grade monthly math station subscription (1st and 3rd grade will be coming in the future).

In this monthly math station subscription, you’ll receive a set of standards-based math stations delivered to your inbox each and every month. Each month’s set focuses on 1 particular math concept to help your students master their skills and spiral review. 

Each month, you’ll receive 10-15 math stations, all aligned to the skill of focus and the standards. You can feel confident knowing that you are giving your students the exact practice they need. 

These math stations are differentiated and come in a variety of activities. There are task card activities, QR code activities, board games, Boom Cards, digital Google Slides and Seesaw activities, partner games, independent activities, and more! 

The monthly skills covered are: 

  • January – Money
  • February – Time 
  • March – Measurement
  • April – Graphs
  • May – Multiplication & Division
  • June – Personal Financial Literacy
  • July – Addition & Subtraction Strategies
  • August – Place Value  
  • September – 2 Digit Addition and Subtraction without Regrouping
  • October – Geometry
  • November – Fractions
  • December – Addition and Subtraction with Regrouping

What Makes Maximize Your Math Block Different Than Other Math Stations?

Maximize Your Math Block is different than other math stations, such as my monthly math station sets, in a couple of different ways. 

First off, these math stations don’t have a monthly, seasonal theme. They come in kid-friendly themes that can be used all year long. That way, if you happen to follow a different pacing guide for your math curriculum, you can use the activities anytime of year. 

Secondly, the math stations each month focus on one particular skill instead of a variety of math skills. This allows students to hone in on mastering the concept during the month. 

Lastly, each math station activity comes with a student instructional video. Students will scan the QR code on the direction page to access the instructional video on any device. 

They will press play on the video to watch a video of me explaining the directions and modeling the math station activity for them step-by-step. I tell them exactly what materials they’ll need, if they need a partner, and how to play. 

Once they watch the video, they’ll know exactly what they need to do, how to play the game, and can get started right away. This drastically cuts down on the time it takes you to explain each math station as well as the student interruptions, because they’ll be empowered to get started independently.

All of this leads to more effective math stations that run themselves, a streamlined math block, and more learning occurring in your classroom!

Maximize Your Math Block math station games for 2nd grade

Streamline Your Math Block Today!

If you’re ready to streamline your math block and implement math stations that run themselves so you can focus on the students at your small group table, I’d love to invite you to join Maximize Your Math Block! 

Each month, you can expect to receive standards-based math station activities emailed directly to you. All you have to do is download them, print them, and you’re set to go. 

That is exactly how to implement effective math stations, lessen the interruptions and distractions, and make the most out of your instructional time.

Click here to learn more about Maximize Your Math Block and sign up today! 

To learn more about how to implement math stations that run themselves, be sure to check out my YouTube video where I dive deeper into this topic!

Do you want to learn more about implementing math stations in your classroom? Check out these blog posts below!

Pin the image below to save this post for later or share it with a teacher friend!

Math Station fraction game for 2nd grade
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