Math Station

Create a special math center in your classroom this year where children can “discover” and reinforce math concepts. You could use a table, shelf, or quiet corner in your classroom. Store materials in zip bags, baskets, shoe boxes, or a storage tub. Label each container with the name and a picture of the item. Model how to use the materials and clean up. Begin by putting out one activity at a time. When children have learned how to use one activity and clean up, then add another. Children should have several choices, but don’t overwhelm them by too many materials at once.

Here are some common objects that will give children opportunities to count, sort, compare, add, and subtract.

Counters: shells, rocks, buttons, toothpicks, keys, bottle caps, peanuts, pasta, paint chips, erasers, small toys, craft sticks, birthday candles, hair bows, small cars, crayons, party favors, leaves

Sorting: sorting box, divided serving dishes, flannel board and felt pieces

One-to-One: muffin pan, ice cube tray

Numbers: dice, deck of cards, number puzzles, tactile numerals, dominoes, board games

Patterns: pattern blocks, sewing beads, peg board, unifix cubes

Writing: chalkboard, wipe off board, paper, pencils

Counting: dice, number line, hundreds chart, counting cubes

Geometry: geoboard, felt shapes, attribute blocks, 3 dimensional shapes

Time: toy clock, stop watch, minute timer

Money: play money, US coins, foreign coins, coupons

Measurement: ruler, tape measure, balance scale, measuring cups and spoons

Addition: unifix cubes, calculator, games

What else? computer, play telephone, counting books, number poster

Hint! Relate counters and math manipulatives to seasons or themes. For example, if you are doing an ocean unit, have shells to count and short. In the fall, you might want to have nuts or leaves in the math center.