Elementary Math Centers: Fun Ideas for Teachers
Math centers can be a fun way for students to gain independence in the classroom while reinforcing the concepts taught in class. Create a few different centers and have your elementary students circle around the room, completing all the activities in groups. Read on for classroom management tips and sample centers.
How to Successfully Run Math Centers in the Classroom
Math centers allow students to explore a topic by participating in handson activities. In a typical classroom, there can be between 46 math centers at a time. The activities should be straightforward enough so that children can complete them without direct adult supervision. At the same time, the activities should be fun and interesting enough to hold the students' attention.
Math centers work the best if they're used after direct instruction to reinforce what the students just learned. Although you as the teacher can circulate around the room, the students should be working mostly on their own. For this reason, students working in a math center should have a firm understanding of the math concept that was just taught.
Create groups of students who can work well together. Although the students should have fun, they also need to learn and complete the activity. In addition, consider grouping advanced students with belowaverage students because the belowaverage students may benefit by learning from a peer.
Elementary Math Center by Topic
Measurement
During a measurement unit, one group can complete a scavenger hunt. Give the group a ruler and a list of different lengths, such as one foot or 3.5 inches. Together, the group will have to find objects that match the lengths on the list.
Multiplication
Students can play review games on their own in groups or in pairs at the center. Make the game by creating problem and solution cards. For example, a problem card might be 8 x 8 and the matching solution card is 64.
Instruct students to turn all the cards face down and select two cards at a time. If the cards match, the player gets to keep them. If the cards don't match, the player has to flip them back over and try to remember the location for later turns. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
Fractions
After learning how to multiply fractions by whole numbers, give one center a simple recipe that makes one serving. Ask students to convert the measurements so that the recipe makes three servings. This activity requires students to practice multiplying fractions by a whole number. For instance, if the recipe requires 1/4 of a cup of sugar, multiply 1/4 by 3 (1/4 x 3 = 3/4). The new measurement is 3/4 of a cup of sugar.
Other Articles You May Be Interested In

Is your child struggling with math in elementary school? You may be able to get him or her excited about learning math by using an educational app on your iPad, iPhone, Android or other mobile device. Here are ten apps for elementary school children that may hold the key to math success.

Too much anxiety about tests can be debilitating and result in poor performance. It can interfere with studying, cause difficulty with learning new material and even have a negative effective on a child's social interactions
We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In
Huntington Learning
 What Huntington Learning offers:
 Online and incenter tutoring
 One on one tutoring
 Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
K12
 What K12 offers:
 Online tutoring
 Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
 AdvancEDaccredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Kaplan Kids
 What Kaplan Kids offers:
 Online tutoring
 Customized learning plans
 RealTime Progress Reports track your child's progress
Kumon
 What Kumon offers:
 Incenter tutoring
 Individualized programs for your child
 Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
Sylvan Learning
 What Sylvan Learning offers:
 Online and incenter tutoring
 Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
 Regular assessment and progress reports
Tutor Doctor
 What Tutor Doctor offers:
 InHome tutoring
 One on one attention by the tutor
 Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
TutorVista
 What TutorVista offers:
 Online tutoring
 Student works oneonone with a professional tutor
 Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations