Interesting math center activities keep students engaged and learning. Elementary and middle school math centers may include math labs in addition to games and other fun learning activities.
The best thing is that working in centers gives you the time you need to work with small groups of students which is really the only way to address specific needs and catch kids up.
But what kinds of activities will work for centers? Here are some ideas for centers, all of which I have used myself in sixth grade math this year. My hope is that it will give you ideas for creating your own centers to fit your curriculum and the needs of your students.
I have one student computer, two old laptops, and I check out two more laptops from our media center. In order for a game to pass my inspection, it has to have great graphics and target an objective from our Standard Course of Study for sixth grade math.
Students in my homeroom gave each game a "test drive" before I used them for centers. Here are their favorites, which we have used as math center activities this year.
For this center I use self-paced interactive instruction modules and interactive test preparation sites.
Since probability is huge on our state test, I have searched for activities on this topic. Here is one of the best I have found so far:
Fraction Dominoes are good for the game center, but you can make your own games, too. Students enjoy creating game boards from posters, and we use those to play the Integer Game that I created.
Also popular as a math center activity in this category is
POW!, a card game which I came across on a teacher message board. We play it with a duplicate set of cards from our
math word wall which is clearly the best way to learn the correct
This is probably my favorite center. I LOVE seeing how creative and artistic my children can be when given the opportunity.
There are many art projects which are ideal math center activities, our most recent being artistic representations of the properties of math.
Go to Math Centers from Math Center Activities
LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
Be sure to provide an emphasis on reading in math centers. Reading in math centers establishes a purpose for doing so and is very powerful in helping kids read for meaning.
Sometimes I use mini math labs as centers. This gives students an opportunity to measure, collect data, and work with formulas.
I always prepare a lab sheet and provide clipboards on which students record their data and their calculations.
Examples of lab sheets:
Jump Rope Lab - Data Collection and Statistics (mean, median, mode, and range)
Free Throw Data Sheet - Ratio and Proportion
Circle Center - Measurement, area, and circumference