How to Make Math Rotations Easy to Manage

Teacher Tips

As teachers, we understand that the key to a successful year is working smarter, not harder. Providing differentiated instruction is so important for your students’ success but it can be quickly overwhelming! Today we are breaking down our top 5 tips to make Math rotations easy to manage in your classroom!

Start off small 

If you’re not currently doing rotations, start with just 2 rotations and add new ones as you and your students get comfortable. It is important to give yourself and your students time to adapt to new routines and activities. Doing this will help them learn how to work independently at each rotation and allow you to focus on your small group lesson.

Repeat activities 

Another key to setting your students up to work independently is repeating activities. Find activities that can be used for multiple math strands so your students already know how to do them when you change topics. Some things we use as repeat activities are Fact Fluency Practice, Playing Card Games, and Flash Cards.

Make it fun 

Let’s be honest, managing students when they aren’t engaged in learning is so much harder! We love using math crafts to keep your students engaged and learning. They can start the craft with you during small group work and then complete it independently during the next rotation.

Math rotations should be fun! Use math crafts to keep your students engaged in learning.
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We love using Math crafts so much that we made our own set of Math Craftivities covering 1st and 2nd grade Math standards! You can get them here for First Grade and here for Second Grade!

We’re so confident you’ll love them that we’ve made 4 FREE MATH CRAFTS! Get them here: Halloween Math Freebie, Thanksgiving Math Freebie, Winter Math Freebie, and Valentine Math Freebie.

Keep things organized 

When we were first starting out as teachers, one of the veteran teachers we worked with told us to never do something ourselves that our students could do instead. We try to live by that piece of advice! When you are teaching your students how to use each station don’t forget to teach them how to clean up as well! This way they’ll be able to help keep the area clean and organized. If they can do it themselves, that is one less thing you have to worry about!

Batch your prep 

Save time by grouping together your prep for each type of center. Start by prepping your small group lessons for the week, then prep your math centers or games for the week, then prep independent work for the week. This will help you organize your thinking and save time. We use an accordion style folder to keep all of our prepped materials for the week organized by day of the week. Then when it is time for Math, we pull out all of the materials for the day in one go.

Did we miss any tips that you live by to make math rotations easy to manage? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for other Teaching Tips? Check out these posts:

5 Tips to Create a Work-Life Balance

Our New Year’s Resolutions for Teaching

Indoor Recess Ideas to Keep Your Students Calm and Engaged

meet the teachers

Hi, we're Kelly and Stephanie, 2 teacher besties from Buffalo, NY. We love collaborating and creating hands on, engaging materials for all learners. Thanks for stopping by!

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