27 July 2013

Math Pocket Station Signs FREEBIE

I have had math stations on my mind all summer!  Here is my predicament when it comes to math stations---TIME!  By the time I finish everything I need to do during my math block, there is never enough time. 

This is my daily routine:
I always start with Math POD's.  This is my spiraling activity.  I created a page last year that's 2 sided, and I couldn't be happier with how it worked out with my second graders.  Stay tuned....I will post about that next time.  After POD's we move onto Problem Solving.  Then, I teach my lesson for the day, and then there is a follow up activity or assignment.

The only place, I seem to have a gap is during the follow up activity.  They generally finish completing their tasks at different times.  I began thinking that perhaps I could work in some station time while students are finishing their independent work.  I only plan to have them go to one station each day.  Each station will have several activities for them to choose from.  I know most teachers have their students rotate through stations, but I'm going to try the one station and see how it goes. 

I decided to go with the pocket theme.  I really wanted it to be different from my literacy stations.   I also wanted it to sound catchy.  I can just hear myself, what is your pocket for today? 

The idea for using the word MATH as an acronym came from the fabulous Clutter-Free Classroom.  I love her board and acronym.  If you haven't seen it, check it out here.  I would have loved to use her board, but I just knew that I didn't have time for them to rotate though several stations daily.

Then, when I saw the idea below at the adorable blog, Sprinkles to Kindergarten, I knew it was the perfect solution to my problem.  Please check out all of her great tips.  I love that she lets her students pick their station each morning.  I will definitely do the same thing.  I also love that she has boys on one side and girls on the other, so that you don't have a group of all girls or boys.  Great idea!

I decided to go with the acronym MATH instead of NUMBER.  I have soooo many literacy stations, I really wanted to keep math stations simple.  But, there will be plenty for students to do in each of the pockets.  If you like the NUMBER acronym in the pic above, you can get it as a freebie at her blog.  Just click the image above.

After merging the two great ideas from my fellow bloggers, this is what I came up with.

My plan is to use the red clothespins, you see in the image above.  I am going to write their numbers on them, so I don't have to get a new set every year.  They will place their clothespins in one of the grey spots on the pocket.  There are enough spots for 6 students to go to each station.

But, I also like the idea of using numbered magnets and hanging it on my front magnetic dry erase board (see below).  I am torn, I'll have to see which idea works out better.

The magnets fit perfectly in the grey dots where the clothespins go.

Here are the 4 Pockets:

M- Math Facts
This is self explanatory, it will be all about practicing those math facts.

A- A Flashback
All the activities in this station will review concepts we have already covered.  I always have extra activities that I never got around to in class, now they will be a perfect addition to this station.

T- Teach Time
Either Teacher Time or Buddy Time

H- Hands-On
Anything that involves students exploring and actively engaged with their math tools.

In order to keep up with who I am meeting with daily, I will use the printable below.   I'm going to select which 6 students will work with me before they arrive in the morning.  I decided to go with Teach Time instead of TEACHER, because I wanted to have the option of it being a buddy time, also.  I may choose 3 students that really understand a concept well, to buddy with 3 students that are struggling with a particular concept.  Most of the time students will be working with me, but I wanted to have options. 
This resource also includes the pages below that I will attach to file folders, so students know what their choices are in a particular station.  Even though they aren't rotating daily, I plan on having more than enough activities to keep them engaged. 

I plan to laminate each file folder with the pages above blank, so I can use a sharpie to write in the activities, Then, if I want to change something, I can easily erase it and make any additions or changes for the week.

This resource is a FREEBIE.  If there is a station activity that you love, I'd love to hear your ideas.


  1. How cute is this?! I have been wanting to try Daily5 Math, which is sort of similar, but my summer just hasn't allowed me to research it enough! One of these days, I guess. Not enough time! :)

    Teach On.

  2. Hey Colleen! Did this work well for you last year and have you started implementing it this year? Do you let the kids sign up for teach time also? I am looking at having two rotations a day, four days a week. Then they would get through all stations twice a week. I think I will just print my pockets twice, using one "set" for each rotation. I hope this is working for you this year!!

    1. Hi Becky,
      I'm so sorry I missed your comment from the beginning of the month. I used the math pockets last year and they worked great, but I'm changing them up a bit this year. I never seem to do the same thing 2 years in a row. I am still doing 1 rotation a day, but I'm adding the rotations to the bottom of my literacy board, and they know that they will go to this station during our math block. I will place the cards for the week, and they will just rotate daily. Does this make any sense? If not, please feel free to e-mail me anytime.
      :) Colleen