Centers can be a great addition to the classroom, but it’s not always easy to organize your center activities. And then once they’re organized, it can be a challenge to KEEP them that way Fortunately, there are several organizational tricks and strategies that will make implementing math centers so much easier and streamlined for you.
Organize Math Centers-Task Cards
I store all of the task cards I use for my center activities in sandwich baggies. I typically write the name of the activity on the bag, and I sometimes write how many cards are in the bag. I’ve found that this makes clean-up a little easier.
Organize Math Centers-Materials NOT in Use
I keep all of the task cards that I’m not currently using in my classroom cabinet. I store these task cards and activities in small stackable tubs. It’s possible to keep one set of task cards in each tub, but as I accumulated more and more activities, I started grouping multiple resources in a tub. For instance, I may keep all of my place value activities in one tub. This helps save me a little space, and that is definitely a benefit for me!
I also have containers for seasonal task cards and specialty task cards, such as my early finisher activities or enrichment activities. This center organization strategy keeps my task cards and activities organized and easy to find and access.
Organize Math Centers – Materials IN Use
I’m pretty selective on the center or station activities that I have out and available to my students. There are always a handful of activities for our current topic, as well as a few review activities from different units. I organize activities these into plastic trays that I bought from Really Good Stuff. It’s such a help to be able to stack things neatly, and I like being able to see what is inside each container! I number each container, and the number on the container correlates to the activity students complete. The number also indicates where students complete the activity. For example, if my students are at Center 5, they take the Center 5 container and go the designated location for Center 5. The numbered tubs makes them interchangeable. When I want to change center activities, I don’t have to relabel anything.
Inside the containers is everything students need to complete the math center activity. I occasionally include clear sleeves for recording sheets to save on paper and copies, so I have included wipes and dry erase markers in any storage tub that has a recording sheet. If the activity or game requires any manipulatives, I store those in the container as well.
Keeping things organized like this helps to minimize transition time and eliminates, or at least reduces, student excuses for not being on task.
What Center Do Students Visit