Saturday, April 12, 2014

Math and Literacy Station Management From Start to Finish

bright ideas blog hop
It's time again for the Bright Ideas Blog hop.  I'm a self proclaimed storage container junkie.  I think my admin said it best when she told me "I think you have a serious problem with containers".  Yes, I do.  I get all happy inside every time I walk into a store and see new storage options.  Even the Dollar Tree storage section can make me giddy. Why do I love containers so much?  The answer is really simple, they are clean, uniformed in size/color, and they contain the chaos.  What's not to love? I am madly in love with the Sterilite Large Clip containers.  I order them online from Target, it is a lot cheeper and they come 6 to a carton.
math and literacy stations With storage containers comes the notion of organization.  However just because you have containers doesn't mean you are organized.  Some people just use them to hide the mess.  I use them to make my life simpler. I use containers for everything in my classroom.  The container I am most in LOVE with our my Literacy and Math Station containers.  I have one set that I use to store the stations that are not in rotation and two other sets for my literacy and math stations that are in use. here is why I LOVE them.
  • They hold everything I need for the station.  
  • The lids are easy for the kids to open and close.
  • They stack and fit perfectly on my shelf.
So, now that I have all those fancy containers how do I use them efficiently? First, I sorted all my stations into the months that I would be using them in.  For the thematic ones that was easy.  For some of the others it was a little trickier.  I had to predict when I thought I might be working on a specific skill.  There were some items that just couldn't be pinned down to a specific month; those items went into expanding file folders with a label attached.
center storage, math stations, literacy stations
center storage
To keep each station together I use rubber bands, binder clips or ziplock bags.  When I am ready to change out stations, I begin first putting away the stations I am finished with; I usually rotate every 3-4 weeks.  Before putting them away, I make sure the station is complete.   I have a Lost and Found basket I use for items we find that didn't get put away.  If a station is incomplete, I keep it out until I can remake the missing pieces.    Next I pick the new stations I want to use.  I gather the materials it may need, like dice, a spinner, or dry erase marker, then put it all together.  Once all stations are complete I'm done; Easy Peasey!

Then it is on to the center rotation board. I regroup the pairs of students who will be working together. Right now I have them paired with the same partners for Literacy and Math Stations.  The cards with the letters and the numbers tell them which container they will be working with.  When it is time for stations; letters for literacy and numbers for math.  When it's time for stations, I call out partner names and they quickly take their tub to the designated area and begin to work.
how to rotate centers
This is my 3rd year using Math and Literacy Tubs and I love it.  It is so easy to do, once you prep them all, you have them year after year. Changing them out every 3-4 weeks saves so much time.  If you use something like this, I'd love to hear about it.  Leave me a comment below. For more bright ideas look below at all the other great bloggers who are sharing their wisdom.

7 comments:

Mrs. McClain said...

I just love your organization! I need to improve in that area for sure :-)

Jasmine
Buzzing With Mrs. McClain

Elizabeth said...

I absolutely love this line "However just because you have containers doesn't mean you are organized". Oh how true! Thank you for such wonderful ideas for organization! I'm always in search of better ways to stay organized.

Elizabeth
Fun in Room 4B

laura ekey said...

I can't locate the containers on-line or in my local stores. I can only find the extra large clip containers! Did you order recently?
Laura

laura ekey said...

I can't locate the containers on-line or in my local stores. I can only find the extra large clip containers! Did you order recently?
Laura

Tiffani Mugurussa said...

Laura, I did just looks and it seems Target isn't carrying them. I did find some online http://www.wayfair.com/Sterilite-Clip-Box-YEH1101.html

http://www.menards.com/main/home-decor/crafts/totes-bins-baskets/clear-containers/sterilite-1963-large-clip-box/p-1766010-c-12668.htm


Tiffani Mugurussa said...

Laura, I did just looks and it seems Target isn't carrying them. I did find some online http://www.wayfair.com/Sterilite-Clip-Box-YEH1101.html

http://www.menards.com/main/home-decor/crafts/totes-bins-baskets/clear-containers/sterilite-1963-large-clip-box/p-1766010-c-12668.htm


Martin Legault said...

Hi, I thought that this new teacher-seller website might interest you. They are based in Canada and offer features that are not found on similar sites. They also have a lot of new features coming. Here is a link: Created by Teachers, Exclusively for Teachers

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