Math Centers for Teachers on a Budget

Hello and happy Saturday. A long while ago I posted a picture on Instagram showing one of the various methods I use to arrange materials when working on math centers. I then had the idea of writing and sharing with you what I’ve done with my centers without having to spend any money. Today I finally took the pictures of my materials and am ready to post. I’ll dedicate another entry to task cards because I don’t want to make this super long and boring.

Let me start by clarifying this: in Colombia, centers or small-group activities or whatever are not common. Most classrooms are not equipped for this kinds of class dynamics, and teachers aren’t always in charge of the majority of the subjects, as it happens in the U.S. What it means is that teachers like myself have to carry the materials and resources we use to the classrooms, so we have to look for ways to make this practical.

I’m a very eco-friendly teacher, and I’m also obsessed with online shopping, so I always have a box or two, which I use for storing my teaching stuff at home (remind me of posting about my supplies closet one day) or at school. I like that the boxes are open at the top because that makes it easy for me to grab what I need. They are also a great size because all of my math centers stuff fits but it’s not big or uncomfortable to carry.

Now let’s look at the inside of the box. I know I said I got everything for free, but I sort of cheated with the snap cubes because they were already in the storage closet when I started working at school. In the post on task cards I’ll talk in depth about what I do with these cubes. You can click here  to buy them at Amazon.

There’s also this cup filled with paper shapes. I colored and laminated some triangles I used for a STEAM activity in the past, the other paper shapes are blank and haven’t been laminated. I’m keeping those for a day when I don’t like what I planned, to have students color them and them make a drawing out of them. We also used these shapes in the past to make a shapes pizza. Let’s go back to the cup, though. On my birthday my best friend gave it to me. It was filled with candy, which I ate immediately. I kept this cup because it had a lid, which meant I knew I could use it to store something. And  I did!

Finally we have this cute counting activity I did when I was introducing numbers from 1 to 10. This is a freebie I got from Totschooling.net , which I adore because we got to do a lesson around If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I laminated the jars and the cookies to make the materials reusable. The idea is for students to cover the cookies with golden stickers (“chips”) according to the number of dots, and then to match the cookie to the number in the jar. I made two sets so that each student can get at least one cookie.

There you go, these are some of my resources for math centers, which I got for free. As you can see, I’m more of a hands-on teacher, and I like to make things rather than buy them. I think by doing so, I’m doing the earth and my pocket a favor.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

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