Sunday, March 3, 2013

Diary of My Mathematics Center Makeover

An itch for spring cleaning combined with the new Common Core State Standards for Mathematics put me to work throughout the month of February.  My goal was to give my Mathematics Center a makeover consisting of the following.

               1.  Updated Content:  The Common Core requires that I teach some new terminology and concepts such as the associative property of addition, and that students utilize a 120 Grid as opposed to a Hundred Grid, for example.  Also, some concepts are now deemed no longer appropriate for the first grade.

               2.  Less Clutter:  My bulletin board in my center-- although colorful and rich in appropriate content-- was very busy.  I found that my students rarely used the visuals without me prompting that helpful content was up on the board.  Furthermore, the table had hardly any room for the students to write on it or use it for centers.

               3.  Better Storage:  I wanted to be able to house more manipulatives in an organized, uniform way that was easy to identify where each manipulative was located.  I wanted a clean look.

               4.  More Usage:  I wished for there to be a way for my students to access the information on the bulletin board other than trying to see it from their desks or getting up and down, and up again, to find what they were seeking.

The results are finished!  Check out these two before pics.  I loved the center as is but wanted it to be even better.  Notice the busy bulletin board and crowded table.

Mathematics Center Before

Table Before
Here is my Mathematics Center after...drumroll please...

New and Improved Mathematics Center

One of the things that you may notice is how I tossed the mix and match bins and bought matching bins.  This made the same amount of "stuff" look less cluttered.  Here you see my find at a local Big Lots.  Gotta love those closeouts!  By creating labels for the bins, everything has a spot and everything is easy to locate.

Each of the posters you see on my bulletin board is now copied and laminated multiple times and stored in our Math Tool Box.  This way if someone wants a money or greater than and less than poster, they can just take the visual and bring it to their seats.  In the Tool Box are my new colorful 120 Grids, too.

I also updated my Estimation Station which includes a jar, a binder to record past estimates (for students to use for strategy purposes), record sheets for student estimates and a bin in which students place their completed estimates.

I also made a banner for the Math Center and used colorful clothespins and ribbon to hang it.

All the posters, labels, banner, 120 grids, estimation materials and more are featured in my newest item.   I cleverly titled it Common Core All in One Math Center.  You can click here to get it.  Now that my Mathematics Center has had it's makeover, I'm off to tackle the supply cart--the Mathematics Center's neighbor.  Wish me luck.


  1. This is such a great post. I love all of your organization. =)

    I am happy to be your newest follower. I would love for you to hop over and visit when you get the chance. =)

    Heather's Heart

  2. Hi Heather.
    Thanks for the visit and the compliment. I'm stopping by to visit your blog right now.


Pin It button on image hover