Welcome to part 4 of my guided math series. Today I’m going to share some of my must-have materials needed to implement guided math successfully in your classroom.
You can check out the first three parts of this series by clicking on the links below.
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When setting up tour classroom, you want to have a designated space where all of your math stations materials can be accessed easily. All of my manipulatives and tools are stored in clear tubs so that my students can easily see what is inside. You also want to each of your math manipulatives to be labeled so supplies do not get mixed up.
Here is what my area looks like. I got these baskets from the dollar store years ago and they’ve held up well over the years. You can also use Sterlite drawers or plastic baskets to hold center supplies and activities.
Each basket is clearly labeled so that students know where to put materials when finished. Inside each basket, everything needed for that activity goes inside. If I accidentally forget to put something in they can most likely find it in their math tub or on this shelf that holds commonly used supplies.
Is everything perfectly labeled? No, but it is organized and it works for me. The pink and purple baskets you see on the middle shelf hold dice cups, money cups, and dry erase markers. My monthly math stations are held in the Sterilite containers on the bottom shelf. The colored drawer cart to the right holds all of my stations that I have by concept.
You also, want your rotation board on display where students can easily see where they are going. If you don’t have wall space for a large display, you can also use a digital rotation board. I like to display this one with the names of each activity for each group. It is EDITABLE so you could easily change the text to show students names or station directions. This rotation board includes three different group types: -animals -colors -numbers You can easily customize it to meet the needs of your classroom.
Now let’s talk about some basic supplies that I use daily to run math stations smoothly. Click on the link to purchase. Dry Erase Pockets: I use these for EVERYTHING!!! Rather than running off 23 recording sheets, save some paper and run off a few copies and slide them into these sleeves. Students can write their answer with a dry erase marker. If you’re wanting to hold students accountable for their learning, they can do one of the following:
- quickly bring their sleeve up to you for a quick check.
- take a photo using a smart device of their work for you to check later
- take a photo and upload it to SeeSaw (an online student portfolio that makes student/teacher communication easy and fun). This allows you to leave comments
on student work.
Dry Erase Boards: If student work can be done with whiteboards, save that paper and let them use them. Transparent Spinners: I love these because they can be used with any type of spinner activity. No more paperclip mess!
Whiz Dice: Every teacher needs these in their classroom. They are the best way to differentiate activities. The best part is that you can get 200 random assorted different types of dice to use all year long.
Number Lines: I love these because they are durable and plastic. Your students can write on them with a dry erase marker and it will easily come off.
120 Chart: These I also made myself because a class set of durable 120 charts can also be expensive. I printed them onto cardstock and laminated them so they can also be used with a dry erase marker. Grab them here for FREE!
Number Cards: You can use printable cards or a deck of cards from the dollar store. I keep several sets on hand to use with games and creating numbers. I recently purchased these large playing cards and my students are obsessed with them. They are perfect for whole group lessons.
Linking Cubes: These are one of my favorite manipulatives. They can be used for so many activities and are great game pieces too.
Some of my other basic manipulatives include:
Hopefully, your school already provides you with most of these supplies. I know that purchasing materials on your own can add up quickly. I try to get a few little things at a time and then I hoard them like crazy!
I hope this post gave you a good place to start as far as gathering supplies needed to get you started. Do you need everything featured in this post to run guided math successfully? Absolutely not. Do what you can with what you have. You can also find tons of printable manipulatives for free online.
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