I know I just posted earlier this week about how much I love math stations...but I don't want to give you all the impression that my stations are going perfectly because....they totally aren't! I mean they are going about as well as I can expect any independent activity to go with 5 years olds! Here are some things that happened just today during our fabulous math stations time:
1) As I was walking around observing students at their math stations I happened to notice 2 students who were just sitting there quietly, but not playing their game. Hmmm....I wondered if maybe they had finished the game and didn't realize they could go ahead and play it again. So, I walked over to chat with them. Turns out when they took out the game at the start of stations, the little spinner I had made for the game was missing the paperclip, so they couldn't use the spinner. So...they had just been sitting there for 10 minutes doing NOTHING. Really. They could not comprehend a single solution to the missing paperclip. This turned into a quick mini-lesson about how if something is missing from their game they can raise their hand and ask their teacher to help them (and give them a new paperclip!) instead of not doing the station. Oh my!
2) As I continued to walk around the room and observe math stations, one child ran up to me and was obviously upset. I went back over to his station with him and asked what the problem was. He told me his partner wouldn't stop pinching him! When I asked his partner why she was doing this, she said that she was pinching him because he kept doing his station wrong! He actually was doing it wrong as he was just lacing beads onto the string in a random order instead of making a pattern out of the colored beads-however I'm pretty sure there are better ways than pinching to get your partner to follow directions (another instant mini-lesson on how to communicate verbally with your math stations partner!).
3) As a rang my little bell that signals the end of math station time I happily noticed my students quietly cleaning up...we have been working a ton on cleaning up quietly. As we all convened on the rug to reflect on our math station time, I noticed that one pair of students was missing. I called over to them and asked why they hadn't cleaned up when I rang my bell. Their answer-they weren't done playing their math game so they couldn't clean up yet! Ok, this did make me smile because they were obviously enjoying their math station. Love their logic. However, the clean-up bell means clean-up...whether your game is finished or not!
I'm sure there will be more math station antics tomorrow, but...it's still one of my favorite parts of our day!