Mathematics center implementation contributes to achieving diverse teaching goals, especially regarding group work. Stations for students can involve activities with cards, dice, cardboard games, manipulatives, and other items helping children to understand mathematics concepts more easily (Matific, 2017). While manipulating concrete objects, children learn how to use abstract mathematical concepts. Mathematics center implementation can take different forms, including students’ work or guided activities (Virginia Department of Education, 2020). The conducted stations encompassed the use of cards and manipulatives. The action took approximately twenty minutes, and five more minutes were given for assessment.
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The group of four students worked on one station based on the level of their knowledge and skills. Grouping children with a focus on their proficiency levels helps them achieve their academic goals, and their needs can be addressed more effectively as well (ESGI Software, 2019). The first part implied the utilization of cards (the deck without aces or face cards). The students had an equal number of cards, and they placed one of their cards in the center of the table one after another. The child, to multiply the corresponding pictures correctly first and pronounce the number first, took the card.
The teacher instructed the students and played a round with them, which was favorably accepted by the group. After that, the learners worked without the teacher’s supervision. The second part of the work involved fractions as students distributed manipulatives in an ice tray to feed animals. Such simple objects are commonly used by teachers as they are available from the closest stores and affordable while being effective tools to help students grasp the material (PreK Pages, 2018). They had to distribute a big hay cube evenly to feed the cattle.
After the activities mentioned above, the children were provided with assessment sheets that involved multiplication and fraction tasks. The children had a limited amount of time to complete this assignment, so the station activities were instrumental in training this kind of pace. The fraction task on the assessment sheet encompassed manipulations with a cube so that students could use the skills trained during the station when completing the given assignment. The link between tasks and activities is essential for achieving the highest results as children benefit from using previously learned skills to solve new problems (Virginia Department of Education, 2020). As far as the assessment results, the children displayed high scores, but these results were expected due to their proficiency of the children.
One of the children had issues with fractions, which was clear during their work in the station. One of the team members made some mistakes when feeding the cattle, but other students corrected him. The atmosphere was friendly, which was specifically important when mistake correction took place. In order to facilitate the learning of the student who displayed the lowest score, he received homework with additional fraction tasks. He was to distribute a chocolate bar, ice-cream cubes, and pieces of cotton for ghost costumes evenly during a Halloween party.
The mathematics center was implemented effectively as it contributed to children’s growth. They completed specific assignments, and they worked collaboratively, checking each other’s answers and correcting mistakes. They had to develop solutions in the course of discussions, so they practiced providing arguments and persuading others. These skills are important for the development of students’ critical thinking. Some lessons concerning instructions were also learned by the teacher. I had another illustration of the teachers’ involvement as a tool to instruct. Students were glad to play a round with the teacher, and they clearly understood the assignment. They also had a chance to correct each other, referring to the provided instructions and the round played with the teacher.
One of the challenges I had considered before the implementation of the activities was related to children’s behavior. I was afraid the students would be too engaged and would not want to pass on another task. I also had fears regarding conflicts that could have been connected with the distribution of equal parts and giving correct answers. As a result, those problems did not occur, but there was a different issue. The struggling student, irrespective of the encouragement of his peers and the teacher, reacted negatively to his mistakes. At a certain point, he was stuck, and the teacher had to interfere to help students overcome this situation.
The major cause of this issue was incorrect grouping; the given task or tasks were hardly manageable for one of the students. He had several gaps in particular areas (multiplying and fractions), but it appeared that the boy found it difficult to apply his knowledge to solve particular real-life problems instead of doing specific sums. I need to implement additional research regarding the matter and learn more about the ways to help students to apply academic knowledge in a real-life setting. This experience helped me in gaining insights into the way mathematics centers can be implemented effectively with a focus on particular students’ needs.
Virtual Observation Log
- Course Title:
|Date||Video Title||Video Link||Video Time|
|04/10/2021||Incorporating Guided Math Groups Webinar 12-1-16||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH5wHWxaslc&ab_channel=Matific||1:02:52|
|04/10/2021||Managing Math Stations||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCLCYR7a5sg&ab_channel=ESGISoftware||1:02:17|
|04/11/2021||Evidence Based Specially Designed Instruction in Mathematics||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db4eSGxBul4&ab_channel=VirginiaDepartmentofEducation||1:27:59|
|04/11/2021||Math Center Ideas for Preschool||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-GBODdEdYI&ab_channel=PreKPages||43:55|
Total time: 04:17:03.
ESGI Software. (2019). Managing math stations [Video]. Youtube. Web.
Matific. (2017). Incorporating guided math groups webinar 12-1-16. [Video]. Youtube. Web.
PreK Pages. (2018). Math center ideas for preschool [Video]. Youtube. Web.
Virginia Department of Education. (2020). Evidence based specially designed instruction in mathematics [Video]. Youtube. Web.