Are you looking for a product that is based on differentiation for your guided math groups? Over the past year I have realized the value of teaching math in small groups. There is a ton of evidence out there that teaching this way will greatly impact your students overall math abilities. I felt like I had a good idea on how to differentiate my math lessons but when it came to my math centers I gave each child the same one, even if there were on different ends of the spectrum. I decided to develop math centers for my Kindergarten room that would allow me to differentiate just like I do when I am teaching my groups. The best thing about these centers is that the game is the same for all students, it’s just that the numbers or activity may be less strenuous or more difficult in some way.
I love The Brown Bag teacher’s idea of how to differentiate centers and so I have adopted this philosophy into my own Kindergarten centers. All games have 3 levels. The first (green) is where you start, numbers and concepts are basic and easy to follow (this is your foundation). Level 2 (yellow), this level the numbers or concepts get a little more difficult. Numbers extend to 10. Level 3 (blue) is the final level and this allows you to extend your Kinders to above grade level concepts. These centers have numbers that exceed 10, concepts that dabble with first grade skills.
This allows all your students to play the “same” game but have different rules, which means you are meeting all students where they are and challenging them without having to create 3 different games for each concept. How great is that????!!! The best part about these centers is that you don’t need a colored printer! You simply need cardstock in the three colors listed above. I went out and bought a ream of green, yellow and blue. Students won’t be looking around forever for their materials because they will know which color to look for.
Included in this center is…
• a detailed idea of how to set up your centers
• how each level works in the game
• a materials list
• 3 levels of differentiation (coded for you by dots)
• paper-pencil sheet to respond
Of course you can use this product how you like. I like to use the wipe off pockets to do the sheet and then there is less paper involved. Laminate your center cards for durability and use for future years!
How will your students know which color they should choose? I use the colors (green, yellow and blue) for my math groups. By coding the group one of these colors they easily know which color they are choosing. You can change colors throughout the year as the group becomes more concrete with their knowledge. So for example, a green group may transition to a yellow group quickly or they may stay a green group for most of the year. This allows you to be the judge of when they move up based in their understanding.
I’m in the process of developing games for all the content strands for math in Kindergarten. Check back to my store to see more!