If you haven’t picked up on it by now, you should know that all things guided math and math stations are my jam! I get so many questions within my Facebook group and Managing Math Stations from teachers just like you! What kinds of math station activities can I give my kids during small groups to have them working independently?
Lots of times teachers may feel like we need to find all of these activities on Pinterest or TeachersPayTeachers that we need to print, make copies, cut out, laminate. The list goes on. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE those type of activities, but let’s be real, they are A LOT of work! That’s why I want to share with you four low-prep, engaging activities that you can begin incorporating into your student math station activities!
1. Task Cards
Task cards are always my go-to for independent practice and math stations! If you aren’t sure what task cards are they are individual cards that have certain tasks or problems on them for students to solve. Every single one of my guided math units comes with a set of task cards that can be repurposed for math stations.
What is great about task cards is that they are usually very low prep! You can print them in squares or rectangles on a page so they are easy to assemble. Another amazing thing about task cards is that they are great for differentiation! Simply print the recording sheet to go along with the task cards and you are ready to go!
Playing games involving manipulatives is the perfect way to engage students independently within stations. Spinner games, dice, and coins are just a few items that students love to learn with! The best part about manipulatives is that many of these activities do not require the usage of printed materials. Let’s say you didn’t have time to print your recording sheets or get the task cards laminated in time for today’s lesson. Don’t stress – grab some whiteboards or student math journals and use those instead to have them write their answers down in.
One of my favorite student manipulatives are dice! There are so many different ways to use dice whether it is for review, independent, or partner work! Have students roll 2 dice and add the numbers together to find the sum, subtract the numbers rolled to find the difference, or create their own 2 digit number. Students can compare numbers or solve for greatest to least. For higher level thinking, you can have students build the number they created using coins or place value blocks.
Take advantage of the manipulatives you already have in the classroom! Throw some dice in a bucket with whiteboards or scratch paper with some directions and let your students go to town. The possibilities are endless!
3. Math Journals
Each of my guided math units includes a journal activity for all different kinds of concepts. Things such as telling time, measurement, and money can all be reinforced using math journal lessons! For instance, you can have an example of a completed journal activity inside a tub during your math stations and it’s your student’s job to grab a copy of the activity, glue it into their notebook, and then complete it. Memory games, matching, and flip-up activities are great hands-on lessons to do inside of math journals!
4. Crafts and Color By Code
I’ve heard from many of you that you enjoy doing crafts with your students to give them a creative outlet, but just don’t have the time within your instructional day. Why not incorporate them into your math station activities? Take your template and have a pre-made example that shows exactly how to do it! Place copies of all of the templates inside their tubs and have students create their craft during their independent station activity.
Simple print-and-go activities such as color by code’s are always a winner when looking for low prep station work. The great thing about these seasonal color by code lessons is that they not only incorporate math facts, but writing as well. Once students have solved for the answer on the front, they will then flip the paper over to complete a problem solving sentence on the back.
Although board games and other activities can be a lot of fun, they aren’t the only things available for students to participate in during math stations. Grab your free copy of this Guided Math E-book below for more hands-on math station activity resources!!
Task cards, manipulatives, math journals, and crafts are just a few other highly engaging resources that your students will love during station work!
Feel free to pin the image below to save this post for later!