Diggin' Into Next Year: Math Workshops

Organization of Math Workshops

This year was the first year that I tried math centers/stations/workshops as BUILD. I saw a blogspot sometime ago before school started and wanted to try that out with the new school year. So I did. LOVE. I absolutely love it. It keeps me organized. It keeps the kids organized. Here's what I had at the beginning of the year.

I had each letter posted and a pocket below. Each child had a namestick (popsicle stick with their name) and would place it turned the correct way (so I could see every name) in the pocket of choice.  If you've never heard of the B.U.I.L.D. system, this is where I first heard of it. Learning Adventures with Mrs. Gerlach. She has a wonderful explanation with tons of pictures.

B = Buddy Games

U = Using Manipulatives

I = Independent Work

L = Learning About Numbers

D = Doing Math

For B, I usually put games that were either a bit more difficult and partner games here. These were also games that I thought they would be okay doing alone.

U = Any new manipulative that was introduced was placed here first. Games that included the use of manipulatives were  usually here as well.

I = I used the I basked as journals. I placed half sheet math pages in the basket with glue, crayons, and pencils. They had to complete the sheet. Turn it sideways and glue it in their math journals with the date at the top of the page. This made it super easy for me to check who actually completed math journals and who didn't. I also was able to see who could work independently on certain skills.

L = At the beginning of the year, I used L as the place for all of our making numbers games/sheets. If we were learning about the number fifteen, the focus in L was the number 15. Later in the year, this housed decomposing games.

D= This was really my free for all basket. If there was something that I really wanted my kids to work on that was either a duplicate skill or themed for a holiday, I placed it here.

What I like most about this system is that it kept me very organized and allowed for a range of activities. My school is an AMSTI school. I was trained in AMSTI the summers of 2008 and 2009 in math and science. We currently use Investigations which I'm not a fan of. This system also allows me to use some of those games if I want and not use them if I don't need to.

This is what each bucket looks like. Sorry! I took this at the very end of school. They aren't usually stacked into each other. Each has a letter so the kids know which to pick up.

This was one of our last games in April that they LOVED. All of the contents fit inside. I like these because they are big enough to hold any thing that we need to work with. This was a make ten game.

I will not be using my cabinets to house the letters and the pockets. This did not work for my kids in the beginning of the year. I kept the baskets the same throughout the entire year. I do like the way that BUILD is setup. I am going to have a pocket chart or either something that they can clip to, to put their names so I'll know where everyone is. There is also a sheet floating around Pinterest or somewhere  or a table that you can color/shade in to keep track of where your children are going daily/weekly. I'm debating using that. 

I will continue with BUILD this year and the baskets. This summer, my goal is to have all of my math workshops planned out and organized for every week or two weeks. Some of the skills usually need more than a week. I will be placing all of the materials inside zip baggies and putting a full page cover sheet in the front to easily identify it. That's the goal. Let's hope I can get it done. EEEEK!!!! What are some of your goals for this year? Leave me a comment below. It may be something that I need to work on.

Be sure to check out Laura over at Where the Magic Happens to see the rest of the people that linked up this week.

If you made it down this FAR!!!! I am giving away my newest set. Next up will either be Farm OR... hmmm I'm not really sure. Maybe Kids themed.

Over 300 pages of goodness! I'll leave this rafflecopter up all week! Any theme decor set you'd like to see made?


  1. Keri, your blog is so cute, and your explanation of how you use BUILD in your classroom is great! Thanks for sharing!

    Theresa @ True Life I'm a Teacher!

  2. Math stations is definitely something I need to work on organizing. For me, it's harder to organize than guided reading because the types of skills you do in math change a lot more than in reading. Your explanation was really helpful. Thanks!

    Your cowboy set is super cute! What would I like to see next? Hmmm...I like patterns. Anything with stripes, dots, or chevron would be great!

    Kindergarten Teacher at the Wheel

    1. I totally feel like you!!! Math is so much more work and that adds to more stress!!! Thanks for the ideas as well.

  3. I LOVE how you use BUILD in your classroom. Great post, full of lots of fabulous ideas!

  4. I enjoyed meeting you today at the Diving Deeper training. I am excited to follow you. VERY talented. Impressed.

    1. Awww thanks Julia!! It was so good to meet some super sweet ladies like yourself today.


Back to Top