Thursday, August 4, 2011

Math Tubs

Alright ladies {and misters}. Time for a little Math Tub 101. I know I’m not the only teacher who implements tubs into her daily routine, so by no means am I the expert. I get lots of emails asking about how my math tubs are organized and how everything runs, so I thought this little topic deserved it’s own post.
My math tub time lasts about 30 minutes every day. Last year, I only had 16 kids {it’s okay, you can totally roll your eyes at my good luck}. This year, I’ll have a full house {22 babies}, so I know I’ll need to change some things around.
Each week, I had 3 tubs on my math station shelf and then one “tub” was computers…so, 4 rotations for the week. Fridays were a bit different if it was a full week. Instead of having another tub, I had my kids revisit the week’s math tubs. If I noticed my babies having difficulty during their tub time, I would have them revisit that particular challenge :) I also set out math games on Fridays as well so that they could practice basic skills…addition/subtraction, rote counting, patterns, sorting, etc. This year, I’ll probably only have “fun Fridays” once a month, so I’ll keep 4 tubs on the math station shelf and then one rotation will be computers.
In my 3 tubs, I’d set up a variety of activities. I always kept one tub that strictly reinforced addition/subtraction, that way they always had an opportunity to practice for mastery. I’d also have one or two tubs with an activity to reinforce a concept that had been introduced the previous week. So if I introduced money one week, I’d have one or two money tubs the following week {and for several weeks after that}, that way they never saw a new activity for the first time in independent practice. The activities are ALWAYS hands-on. I do like for my kids to show me on paper that they understand the task at hand, so I’ll often include an extension sheet…something for them to do AFTER the hands-on activity. I also like to use random extension sheets throughout the year as portfolio samples…something to document progress {or lack thereof}.
On computers, my kids always have a math task. Sometimes I’ll give them a choice, sometimes I’ll give them a specific activity…just depends on what we’re learning. The activities they choose {or I assign} come from the following websites…
Shepard Software {also really great for SmartBoard!!}, Learning Planet {123 order}, Crickweb, RockHopper, Toad Math, Duck Subtraction, Fun Brain, Arcade Games, Sum Stacker, That’s A Fact, KidPort, and Primary Games
If you know of any other great math related websites, send them my way…PLEASE!!!
Toward the end of the year {after I got my SmartBoard}, I’d make one of my tubs a SmartBoard activity. I LOVED IT!! Talk about easy set-up! HA!! And for those activities, I’d just scour the Smart Exchange until I found something I just LOVED!! Our district also sets up a shared drive where teachers can put their SmartBoard activities and other teachers around the district can use their creations. Loved that, too!!
I also had 4 groups of 4 last year {hence the 4 day rotation}. I organized this with a little math chart like this…
I have a Hollywood theme in my room, so my picture cards here match the picture cards on the math tubs.
I heterogeneously group my kids, so all different ability levels work together. I group them based on my first couple of weeks of assessment and informal observations {while they’re working on the back to school math tub activities}. This helps me to see what they can do, where they struggle, and who they should {or shouldn’t} be working with :)
Every Monday, I introduce the math tubs for the week during our whole group time. This really turns out to be a lesson in and of itself. I typically have 4-5 math tubs {computer included as one of the “tubs”}…enough to last a week. As I’m introducing the week’s activities, we go through objectives, rules, expectations, and then we role play and practice. That usually takes a good 30 minutes, but it sets us up for the rest of the week and I rarely have anyone who doesn’t know what to do at their tubs {y’know, except for that one sweetie who just can’t pay attention to save his/her life. Bless.their.hearts :)
My kids visited Math Tubs Monday-Thursday…Friday was our revisit/fun Friday day. They only visited 1 tub a day. I like it that way as opposed to a daily rotation because they really have a good amount of time to practice one specific skill before moving on to something else. So…if one group visited the “Star” tub on Monday, they’d visit the “Popcorn” tub on Tuesday and so forth. By Thursday, they’ve had a chance to visit ALL of the tubs for the week. I liked my Revisit/Fun Fridays because it gave the kids who were absent a chance to catch up!!
So a typical week might look like this…
Monday – 8:30-9:00 ~ Intro Math Tubs
Monday-Thursday ~ 9:00-9:30 ~ Math Tubs
Friday ~ 9:00-9:30 ~ Revisit Math Tubs; Math Games & Strategies
MATH TUBS…. (just an idea of what it will look like for me at the beginning of the year)
Star Tub ~ Addition & Subtraction…Gumball Math Puzzles & Extension Sheet
Popcorn Tub ~ Addition…Watermelon Math & Craftivity
Oscar Tub ~ Missing Number Activity & Extension Sheet
Film Reel Tub ~ My Pattern Block Creation craftivity
Computers ~ Shepard Software {basic number sense activities}
Like I mentioned before, I’ll probably have 5 full days of rotations because my class size is going up to 22. I have 6 computers in my classroom for the kids to use, so I’ll want to keep my groups small, between 4-5 kids per group.
I often get emails asking where my math tub activities come from. For the most part, I make them all myself. I’ve tried to upload as many as I can here on the blog. Check on the sidebar and click on “Math Tubs” to find downloadable activities you can use in your room. I also have several Math packets on TpT. My most recent unit…Ready, Set, Learn!…has 15 hands-on math activities I’ll be using at the beginning of the year this year. I try to laminate as much as I can so that I can reuse them from year to year. I also collaborate with my team to see what they’re doing in their tubs and I’ll use some of their activities as well….just depends on the week and the amount of time I have to prepare!
For my babies that just FLY right through their work and finish things quickly, I ALWAYS have a variety of activities on my big math shelf for them to visit. I’ll keep a tub of old tub activities {activities they’ve already visited} on the shelf for them to revisit. LOTS of math games…some of them homemade, some purchased. And I always have a shelf full of manipulatives for them to use as well. As the year progresses, I’ll rotate the math shelf activities so that the kids don’t get bored when they’re finished with their tub work.
I got my numbered buckets at Ikea {gosh dang, I LOVE that place!!!}. They don’t make/sell them in this style anymore :( They do have numbered buckets, but they’re square/cube and transparent. I think you can get a pack of 3 for $7.99…not too shabby.
So…in a nutshell…that’s how I do math tubs. I hope this was helpful!! If you have ANY questions, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to clarify!

In other news, I’m extending my little 20% TpT sale through Saturday. I swore I’d get my newest unit up before the sale was over, but I was having technical difficulties :) I figured out that my file was TOO dang big! {Gosh darn}, so I had to make some adjustments and size it down. Unfortunately, I had to take out some of the activities and first day/first week certificates, but that just means that you guys get them for free! I’ll be uploading what I couldn’t fit into the packet onto the blog in the next few days.
Here’s a little sample of the newest addition….
Graphics courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles
It’s 109 pages…75 pages of printable activities. There are 15 hands-on math activities and 10 hands-on literacy activities. I also included 3 math assessment sheets & 4 literacy assessment sheets. You can read the product description for more details if you’re interested. These are activities that I used in my Kindergarten classroom at the end of the year and they were PERFECT for the beginning of first grade, too!! Great for reinforcement and practice. I’d also keep them on my math/literacy shelves throughout the year for the kids to revisit. And…just so you know…it’s full of LOTS of color which isn’t really wonderful for our printers. Don’t forget that you can always print any document you have in “grayscale”. That’s what I started doing when our color printers went kaput…I’d just print grayscale onto bright and colorful cardstock :) Not as flashy, but it gets the job done! HA!
I’m giving away 3 of my Ready, Set, Learn! units to the first three people that can correctly guess my favorite kind of school supply for teachers :)
In the meantime, my 20% off sale is extended through Saturday and you can enter the code B1T1S for an extra 10% off of your purchase :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews