Thursday, July 28, 2011

Math Workstation Organization

I spent several hours at school this week getting things organized for my future math workstations.

Who knew I had so much STUFF?!

I so should have taken a "before" and "after" picture because the after is pretty impressive... I'll post the "after" once I get the labels on my workstation containers.

So, here is how I started:

I went in to class and made labels on sticky notes for all of the workstation containers I thought I might have and put them on a table.

I started taking apart the manipulatives that came with our math program. I put 6 of each in a baggie with that workstation, 5 of each in a small container that will remain out just in case we need one of them randomly, and the rest in a large freezer bag to put away.

Then I took apart the "workstations" that I used last year. They weren't true "workstations" and they all dealt with math facts, so I re-assigned them.

Finally, I had a three drawer cart full of math games that I used a lot when I taught 2nd grade, but with the split class, it was hard to find time to use them so we didn't. So, I moved each of those to a workstation bin too.

Oh yeah- I also have a basket in my classroom library for science and math books. I took all the math books out and assigned them to one of the workstations.

Here's the giant mess on my table when I was done!

Then I started putting them in the extra containers I had left over. Wow, was Debbie Diller ever right! I had so many containers at the end and I am so glad I didn't go out and buy a bunch to get started!

I had one huge empty container in my storage, so that is where the rest of the "extras" went. I never really thought about how much extra materials I had... but did I really need 30 sets of dominoes or 40 1000 base-10 blocks?! Seriously!

Here's my stack of extra containers...

And those bins on top have 6 smaller shoe box sized containers inside! I used the big one with the black lid for my measurement stuff because I have a large set of jugs for measuring and I also used all of the clear containers. But I was able to use the shoe box sized containers to organize other things AND the three drawer pink container is now empty! An empty container is a teacher's dream!!!!

It was very gratifying to get that job accomplished. I know my math time is going to be so much more effective this year for my kiddos. This approach is perfect for a split class!

Here are some labels I made for my tubs. I plan to print on cardstock, laminate, and use my marvelous "Mavalus" tape to affix to my tubs!I have been working on some math workstation activities that are appropriate for 1st and 2nd graders. So far, time and number sense are complete and available at my TpT store. Both files have six activities that you can use to supplement workstations you already have in your classroom!

Ok! I'll post a picture inside my now beautifully organized closet when I get the labels on my workstation bins... and, hopefully, I'll be back on here soon to upload a freebie for everyone! :)

Have a great Friday!


  1. I feel a kinship with you after reading this. I went to my classroom this week and set up my "Debbie Diller-inspired" math organization in my cleaned out closet! I should have taken before and after pictures but didn't. I love your pics and process! You are going to be so happy to see and know where everything is!
    First Grade Frame of Mind

  2. Thanks Meesabelle! I'm looking forward to using workstations in my class next year!


  3. Nice post! :) Last year, I began organizing my math workstations in the largest Ziploc bags in plastic drawers. I have the type that pulls out and opens up, so it's portable around the room. While I've been doing so much else in my classroom, it makes me happy to see THIS is organized! :-D Have a great year! - Victoria

  4. Awesome! Thanks for the labels! Totally using them. Thanks Christina!

  5. I love these labels! Looking forward to using them to label my ALL my math stuff. What is the font? Thanks for all your great posts!


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