More and more, I hear of teachers going the way of Math Workshop. I’ll be one of them this year! I’m so very excited to get these stations going…so much, that I’ve spent the summer researching games and activities, creating my own, and putting it all together. The problem I’ve had in the past with math stations is just the organization side of it. I’ll also admit to waking up one morning, and going, “Hm, I want to do stations today!” and scrambling that morning to get everything put together. Before I know it, I have 89 ziplock bags thrown around full of greatness. Unorganized greatness, but…at the time, it sufficed.
This year I am aiming for organized greatness, instead! To organize my ideas (and my mind), I went to Walmart and got 10 little $0.97 storage containers. I will have to add to these 10, but I figured I would start little and work my way out later.
I had a few problems with these though. One, they are boring. Two, they will show everything inside. Three, they did not match my room. So I went down a few more isles and found my handy dandy friend, Mr. Spray Paint.
Then I went nuts in the garage, and ended up with this:
I went on the computer and made labels of the names of each game for my Math Facts station. Again, I don’t have enough bins for all of the games I’ve created, but this will do for now.
I debated painting the lids too, but I actually REALLY like the contrast! I may still get some colored spray paint and go bright on the lids, but I’m not sure.
Anyway, so my tips:
1) Come up with a majority of the games/activities that you will want students to work with at your Facts station, since these will be rotated in and out throughout the year. The rest of your stations (At Your Seat, Teacher’s Choice, Hands-On) will change regularly with the topics you’re teaching, so go with what you can do first!
2) Instead of driving yourself crazy with ziplocks, bite the bullet and get some bins. You won’t get them for much cheaper than $0.97!
3) If you’re anal like me and need things to match, go bananas in the spray paint isle. There is SO MUCH PRETTINESS. I resisted the urge to get the glitter paints, but…maybe my lids could use some glitter, now that I think about it! (OMG)
4) Use whatever word processor you have to create labels that correspond to your activities. Either laminate for durability and glue to the boxes, or use clear packing tape to cover and stick. Either works!
5) Admire your work. Make sure everyone else admires it too. Anyone else going the way (or continuing with) of Math Workshop this year??
In the coming days (weeks?) I will be posting here and on TPT many of the activities on the boxes here. Stay on the lookout! 🙂