Math centers with math games, manipulatives, and activities support learner interests and promote the development of more complex math skills and social interactions. Having centers or stations with activities that students can do independently and with peers supports differentiation and allows them to meaningfully practice their math skills. When students are engaged in these centers practicing current math material or moving to more advanced concepts, teachers also have the opportunity to work with a small group who needs an extra lesson.

- Depending on the types of activities a teacher chooses for each math center, students can practice a variety of skills:
- Math games and manipulatives can be used to target specific math skills.
- Having different ways for students to practice and exhibit their learning, for example student-generated problems or creating visual representations, supports individual learning needs.
- Materials that encourage number and math talk with peers improve Math Communication.
- Cooperative learning methods, such as collaborative problem solving or reciprocal teaching, can boost Social Awareness & Relationship Skills.

- Products are often used as both a collaborative and independent center activity. By intentionally designing for open-ended problems and interaction, developers can promote discovery and exploration, supporting positive Emotion for math learning.

Watch how this middle school teacher uses math centers in her classroom. The video explains what students are doing in each center. Her class is divided into three stations: a small group lesson with the teacher, students using Chromebooks to work with a math product, and students using I-pod touches to work on various math apps. As an extension, some students work on creating projects that their classmates can learn from.

Mathematics

Algebraic Thinking

Geometric Reasoning

Math Communication

Measurement

Operations

Proportional Reasoning

Statistical Reasoning

Cognition

Attention

Cognitive Flexibility

Inhibition

Long-term Memory

Short-term Memory

Spatial Skills

Speed of Processing

Working Memory

Student Background

Adverse Experiences

Math Learning Environment

Physical Well-being

Safety

Sleep

Socioeconomic Status