Getting It Started Saturday: Math Rotations {Part 2} + Freebies

Thanks for all of your great questions with the first part of starting Math Rotations! If you missed Part 1, be sure to read that first by clicking HERE. I'm calling this mini-series Getting It Started Saturday!

Math Rotations {Part 2}

I am beyond in love with Math Rotations, but it took me a while to take the first step and actually start them up in my class. Starting Daily 5 gave me some confidence, but what worried me the most was the management, grouping, and time crunch that math presents each day (we have a 60-minute math block). 

If you haven't read my Math Rotations posts, I recommend reading them to get some general background knowledge about each of the pieces and parts. The four parts are:
Every student goes through each of the first three centers every day and, if they are early finishers on Lesson Work, they have the opportunity to do Fact Practice.

Each day begins with kids going straight to their first rotation. I begin with Teacher Time with my lowest group, then switch after ~18 minutes to meet with my medium group, then after ~18 minutes, meet with my high group. After leaving Teacher Time, the kids then go to Lesson Work and then Math Centers. I typically do these rotations Monday-Thursday

On Friday, my high kids come in and start with Lesson Work (from the day before's Teacher Time), my middle kids work on Math Centers, and my low kids, who usually meet with me first for Teacher Time, will often do Fact Practice while I work on reteaching some of my strugglers. After ~18 minutes, we stop and use the last ~40 minutes of class to do a game like Monster Math, Scoot, Bingo, etc. Fun times on Friday :)

On Monday, when my high kids come into do Lesson Work during first rotation, I will give them an extension activity (usually provided by our math program) to complete. This allows me to challenge their higher-level thinking skills and make sure they are doing purposeful work during that time. Sometimes, I will also have them do ScootPad on the iPad or computer, since that is CCSS-aligned and self-differentiating for their level. More on this in the video below....

Getting It Started:
Planning & Grouping Students

I made a video that goes through each of the parts of my Math Rotations Planning Pages that you can download for *free* HERE. I hope this helps you wrap your head around planning for and grouping students during Math Rotations:


If you are interested in picking up the chevron Math Rotation signs, you can find them in my TpT Store HERE. If you're interested in the *free* planning packet, you can get that from Google Docs HERE.


If you would like the *editable version* of this packet, it is now available as a PowerPoint in my TpT Store-- simply add text boxes to type your lessons, students' names, and more! Click HERE to read more :)

I hope this helps and leave any questions in the comment section below- I would love to help!


28 comments

  1. Hey!

    Thanks for the great post. You were right- totally addressed my questions regarding assessing and placement. I've used math rotations in the past, but it has been a year or two, so I am excited to jump back in. Thanks for the thorough overview of how the process works in your classroom. I'm looking forward to putting it all into practice this year. I'd love to see a post with some of your recommended products or tools during this time. It would also be fun to see how you organize your materials for student access and use during this time. Do you typically use the worksheets or practice pages that are included in your math series for the lesson work activities?

    Thanks again- this was great!

    ❁ Kate
    Purely Paperless

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Kate! I am so glad this helped!

      I am definitely planning a walk-though of my centers, organization, and all of that good stuff as soon as I can get in (trying not to pull my hair out that I haven't been able to see it all summer!!) :)

      Thanks again for your support and have a wonderful weekend!

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    2. Hi Stephanie!

      I have a question- so you send your high kids home with no independent practice from that days lesson. But I am required by my district to assign homework every night. I am nervous that if I send them home with a homework sheet and no in classroom independent practice, I could be creating a lot of frustration. What do you think?

      Thanks

      Beth

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  2. Great post. I am beginning rotations this year for the first time. I havewent back and forth btw rotations and a workshop model. Also, you mentioned your district using math expressions, that is what we use, I will interested in how you incorporate the mth talk and also what you decide to use for homework. We found with the common core we needed to add many of our own lessons and I am wanting to create some sort of spiral review for homework.

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    1. Great points about Math Expressions! I tried to view our training through the lens of math groups and I think we can still do some "Math Talks" but they will be much quicker than the videos they showed with a whole class. I am still planning on using the great resources on Teachers Pay Teachers to fill in the gaps that I know will be there (thank goodness for TpT!) and my team is still deciding how we will do the homework-- so much to unravel this time of year!!

      Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your experiences. Good luck with rotations and enjoy the rest of your summer :) :)

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  3. Thank you this post was really helpful in knowing an affective way to start and use maths rotations. I was wondering other than your fun Friday do you do any whole class teaching of maths or do you keep all your lessons in the rotation?

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    1. I really try to keep it all in small groups- I find (for me, at least) that I am able to reach & teach the kids so much better that way :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  4. Thank you for the post and the resources! I love your planning sheet!!! :)

    Jennifer
    myflippedclassroom.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! So glad you found them helpful :) :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Thank you for the plans! I am also trying math rotations for the first time this year. I am team teaching so I will have two groups of kiddos and the planning sheets will surely keep me organized! When you pre-asses and post-asses do you give the assessments whole group or do you do them during your teacher time of the rotations? Also, I would love to know how you keep your teaching tools and manipulatives organized for the teacher time.
    A Tall Drink of Water

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  6. I have never done Daily 5 with Maths Rotations - it is very interesting to see how you set it up. Thanks for all the details! I will have to look into it for next year!

    Alison
    Teaching Maths with Meaning

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  7. Great post Stephanie, keep up the encouragement. I have taught in rotations for over 12 years now as its the expectation in New Zealand. Recently I have moved to DATs (Directed Acts of Teaching). By interviewing the students and setting work at each stage of (NZ Maths Curriculum), during the first couple of weeks, I could quickly establish where their gaps are and pull down students with similar gaps. For independent learners, I created activity boxes that helped them to develop and consolidate their maths knowledge required for the stage that they were working at. These activities cover 5 stages from ages 7 - 13 (roughly) and encompass hundreds of games in total. They are available at TPT through this link http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:maths+number+knowledge+support+games
    Good luck Stephanie and let me know if you have any questions or wonderings as you progress through the year.
    I'll blog about these games over the next few weeks at http://timeawillemse.blogspot.co.nz/
    Best Wishes
    Timea (One Teachers Journey)

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  8. I love your blog and your TpT products! My teaching partner and I are blogging newbies... and I just discovered your Amazon.com gadget. I love that you can recommend books on your blog! I'd love to have that gadget on our blog. Would you mind sharing with me how you got it?

    Thanks so much!
    Kelli

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  9. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog. I can't stay away from it. I am constantly checking to see what great new things that I can learn from you. I initially started following you just because I needed help since I am moving to third grade this year. I have found SO MANY things that apply to many grade levels! Keep educating us on all your programs and procedures.
    I am finally going to jump into WBT and Daily5 this year. I would even like to try it with math!
    I am a novice blogger just trying to get started and learn all I can. Thank your for sharing so much of yourself!
    Thanks so much!!

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  10. I love your blog! You are an inspiration! I use "Daily 5" during my reading block and would love to try your math rotations this year especially since it's so similar. I have 75 minutes for my math block instead of 60 minutes. I was wondering if you had 15 more minutes what would YOU do with that extra time?

    Thanks

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  11. This may be a stupid question, but what do you do with the other groups when you say you start your lowest group with teacher time? They cant go on to lesson practice without the teacher time first can they? Thanks! Great ideas!

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  12. Hi!!! I wanted to know what assessment you give the students to determine their math level? Also, do you follow a math program? Do you do the same lesson just with different levels?
    Thanks
    Irene

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  13. Thanks so much for this great blog! I am starting Third Grade after many years in Second, where I tried math rotations about three times per week, more to differentiate after whole group instruction. I am nervous about the time management part of it, I find I spend more time with strugglers and take for granted my students that "get it". Do you make sure to always stop at your 18 minute mark, even if the concepts are not understood? Is your lesson work from your school math program, or do you differentiate that as well? I am really looking forward to reading all your info about Daily 5 as well!!! Thanks again for all the great tips and tricks!

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  14. Excellent post! Thanks for including the video tutorial. I used math rotations last year, but knew I needed to make some improvements. I've gotten some great ideas! Have an excellent year.

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  15. This may be a stupid question, but what do you do with the other groups when you say you start your lowest group with teacher time? They cant go on to lesson practice without the teacher time first can they? Thanks! Great ideas!

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  16. Thank you so much for your videos and posts. I was wondering if there was a way to get or pay for your plans pages so that I can type in them to keep.
    Thanks!

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  17. Either way this kind of way of publishing features unique regulations best research paper writing service that one need to comprehend to manufacture a sound as well as strong message.

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  18. Hi Stephanie,
    I am planning on starting math rotations and would love the free planning pages but I can't get it to download. Is there anyway you could send me those via email? Also I am going to buy some of your centers which ones do you feel are the easiest to start with for beginning MC? Just the fall ones or should I add more? Do you have the book marks to purchase as well or is that something you can send? Thank you!
    I'm excited to get rotations started!!

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    1. Here's my email: miclever1220@gmail.com. Thanks again!

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  19. Your body of work is extraordinary. Well done! Any thoughts toward a daily or weekly exit slip as a formative assessment?

    Thank you!

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  20. Stephanie,

    I love your blog, and have been implementing the Daily 5 and Math Rotations (and Whole Brain Teaching!) with your blog's guidance this year. It has been wonderful!

    I'd love to be able to edit the planning page (p. 5) of this document using powerpoint. Is there any chance you could send me a single-page pdf of it so that I can use it as a powerpoint background?

    Many thanks!!
    Lisa
    lisa.cerrone@gmail.com

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  21. Just wanted to make sure I understood this correctly... Pull questions from the end of the unit to do your pre-assessment? Let me know :)

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  22. Gee, golly, goodness! If I can't get math rotations started after all this amazing information, I might as well turn in my ID Badge! Thank you for sharing this. I am so excited to start school and begin implementing this! Thank from the bottom of my heart!

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Thank you so much for your comments! :)
~Stephanie

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