One of the most challenging parts of implementing math stations is staying organized. Because math stations have a lot of moving parts, it can be time-consuming to manage all of the materials; however, if you invest the time upfront to organize your materials, it will save you hours of time later.
Here are a few ways that I manage/organize my stations:
- I use the same station types each week, i.e. math facts, games, problem-solving, tech tools, teacher time, seat work, etc. I assign each task a specific colored basket. Each week, I place the materials for that station in that basket. This way, I do not have to look for containers for the materials each week. (Note: If your baskets are the same color, just label them.) I leave the station baskets in the same location so that I (and the students) can easily locate them.
- I keep station games and activities organized in labeled plastic bags that include all of the necessary materials.
- I have labeled tubs of manipulatives so that I can easily grab them when they are needed for a station basket.
- I keep game materials, like decks of playing cards, pawns, coins, and dice, and Tic-Tac-Toe-style game materials, like counters and beans, in storage boxes and small containers so that students can grab them and go.
Freebie Alert! Grab a free copy of my math station game labels. The labels are formatted for Microsoft Word and can be printed on Avery (5163)-style shipping labels. After printing, write the name of the game in the center space. Grab your labels here!
The ideas described above have helped me stay organized and have saved me a ton of prep time, allowing me to just focus on what to fill the baskets with each week. Here are a few other ideas from my Pinterest page for ways to stay organized. Happy Organizing!
Sound Off! How do you keep your math station materials organized? Respond in the comments below.