Monday, 7 March 2016

Math Tip Monday - Spring ideas

Hi everyone,

I'm excited to be part of this month's Math Tip Monday, hosted by K's Klassroom Kreations and Theresa's Teaching Tidbits.  This month, the focus in on Spring Math Games.  This year we celebrate St. Patrick's Day and Easter in one month.  I have always made an effort to implement BUILD Math Stations with my students.  During the Spring months, the focus is on buddy games.  Here's a break down of what BUILD is:

B= (buddy games) partner games
U= (Using Manipulatives) free exploration, mats, pattern blocks, money, clocks, unifix cubes, number cubes, cards, calculators, dominos, counters, math carpet
I= (Independent Practice) journals, read alouds,  math/art link, apps, whiteboards, task cards, assessments, creating story problems (teacher may leave template to get students started)
L= (Learning about Math) hundred chart activities, number lines, number orders, student generated books, comparisons, math carpet activities
Text Box: 1)  Warm-Up (Math Talk)
2)  BUILD Rotation # 1
3)  Whole Group (procedures, strategy, sharing)
4)  BUILD Rotation # 2
5)  Whole Group (procedures, strategy, sharing) 
D=doing math with teacher

My focus is on buddy games during this month.  With Spring Break and two holidays, it may be difficult to get all stations going at once.  I have a few fun activities that I incorporate.  The first always involves a glyph of some sort.  For St. Patrick's Day, it's a build a leprechaun challenge.  For Easter, it's build a bunny and for Spring, it's a butterfly.  Students play with two number cubes and then add the sums.  When each sum is generated, the students have to draw that particular part of the object.  Once the entire picture is complete, a winner is declared. 

Other station ideas include race to the finish games.  They involve addition and strategies to get from one end of the gameboard to the finish.  I often incorporate seasonal graphics to keep my students engaged in the games.  To ensure success, students are placed in pairs or triads.  The games are played as a full class first.  It's them against me.  Modeling is key.  Otherwise, chaos will exist and that is not what the purpose of BUILD is.  BUILD Math is practice with purpose.  

Below is an anchor chart co-constructed with the students to ensure things run smoothly:

Sample BUILD Expectations Chart
*Math stations should:
Look Like
Sound Like
Feel Like
We are working with math ideas.

We are taking turns nicely.

We are talking with our partners about math.

Things are put back in their places.

We are on task.

We are using the materials the way the teacher showed them.

The teacher is not interrupted while working with a group.
Quiet voices so others can concentrate.

Using math talk.

Talking with just your partner.

Making good choices together.

I can do this!

I like to solve problems.

I feel calm.

I like math!

Previews to each of the math stations is included below.  There are enough buddy games to keep the students engaged throughout the month of March and into April.  For additional practice, I often print the games and send them home for reinforcement.  



  1. Thanks for sharing how you use BUILD in your classroom. I had seen it before, but I wasn't sure how it worked. Your products look great! I might have to add some new centers to my math workshop. :)

  2. Thanks for stopping by and providing feedback.

  3. Love your Draw the Butterfly Math Challenge. Creativity and math go together well!

  4. Thank you Margo. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.