Sunday, November 11, 2012

i heart math tubs.

For the past three years, I have always used our district-adopted math curriculum packets for my math instruction. Sure, I threw in manipulatives and maybe the occasional game or two, but can we say *yawn*?! I mean, what 6 year old wants to do the exact same math worksheet every single day? Yuck.

You might think I was just too lazy to migrate over to math tubs or centers, but the truth is, I really was just plain freaked out. How would I find center activities? How would I organize the kids' rotations? How would I make sure the kids were still receiving the vital knowledge and skills they needed and not just playing fun games? Honestly, I was daunted by the idea of turning away the oh-so-easy-to-plan-for math worksheets and replacing them with math center activities.

After some research over the summer, and some fabulous collaboration with the teammates, I think you will be happy to know that those sweet little district-adopted math packets are currently residing in a lovely green recycling bin. Here's what math looks like now:

Be still, dear heart. Be still.

Rather than passing out a worksheet, the kids are actively engaged in a hands-on, curriculum-based activity, and I think we are all over the moon about our new sitch! But let's get to the best part of our new math set-up...the organization!

I found the galvanized tubs in the dollar aisle at Target and the number labels (for free!) here on TPT. The kids love math AND I only had to spend four dollars?! Praise the good Lord.

Ok, so each tub, obviously, is numbered and holds all of the materials the kids will need for that specific activity:

I have three hands-on activities in tubs 1 through 3 and then either an interactive website or an iPad app for the kids to play in their fourth "tub". I introduce all of the tubs on Monday and the kids complete one tub per day, with their fifth day being a small group lesson with me.

I list the kids' assigned tubs in the same area as their super-powered reading groups: that as soon as we come in from recess, the kids can go straight to their tubs and get started! I'm happy, the kids are happy, the tubs are happily organized: win-win-win!

How do y'all organize your math instruction?


  1. LOVE how simple yet effective you've made your center rotations. I struggled with this all last year. I found your superhero groups in your TPT store for free (thank you!). Any chance you also have the math and reading rotations (ex. math tub 1, math tub 2, read to self, etc.) to purchase? I like the theme! Thanks!

    1. Hi Shelly! Thank you so much! I actually do not have those rotation headers for sale. I am headed out of town for a bit, but when I get back, I will do my best to get those out for you!