Kindergarten math centers are a great way to improve your students’ math skills. Early childhood classrooms understand that kindergarten students need a lot of time to build number sense and math stations are a great way to do that.
Math concepts take time. As students move from number recognition to more complex skills like addition, subtraction, composing and decomposing numbers, measurement, and geometry, hands-on centers are a great opportunity to meet the needs of your students that is also fun!
We also want students to build automaticity with math concepts. Are you ready for some research?
The definition of automaticity is the ability to deliver a correct answer immediately from memory without conscious thought. Automaticity is related to fluency, which is both a fast and accurate ability to solve basic math facts. When students reach fluency, they have mastered that concept. [SOURCE]
In kindergarten, we are asking students to fluently identify numerals and solve equations within 5. So strong and explicit instruction coupled with repeated practice is important.
Additionally, having math center time allowed me to form small math groups as part of my daily routine. Based on data analysis, I can pull groups for additional instruction. In my own classroom, I had flexible groups. At times, students had to play independently since I needed to “borrow” their math partner from time to time.
Math centers are also another great opportunity to build social skills. Turn-taking, patience, and cooperation were all part of the learning.
Kindergarten Math Centers
Here is one of the math games that can grow over time with your little learners. At the beginning of the year, we start by using one die. With a single die, students are working on subitizing skills, fine motor skills, and number recognition. They roll the die and track the corresponding number. This is great practice for number formation as well.
Then, as the year progresses, we use two dice and now students are working on addition skills. You can laminate this recording sheet if you wish, and students can use a dry-erase marker to save on printing costs.
I used math stations as a way to reinforce skills and give my students a way to over-learn math concepts in a fun and engaging way. YES! It is academic, but the students don’t know they are learning. If we had to skip math stations for the day, my students complained. It was a highly motivating time of the day.
This student is working on counting with one-to-one correspondence.
Center Management System
I had “new” 10 math centers each week. Students worked with a partner at their math station. Now… there is NO WAY I could have 10 new math stations a week that was TOTALLY different. I would have had the life sucked out of me, and I would have had to spend the entire time explaining the stations. Therefore, a few years ago, I created some highly predictable math station activities. These math tubs essentially were the same activities but switched out the clip art to match our themes.
You can read more about how I managed these different kindergarten activities by reading:
Kindergarten Math activities
Here are a few of the different activities my students worked on in a typical week.
Kindergarten Measurement Center
During our math block, we teach students how to measure. This is part of our whole group lesson activities. Once we have discussed and practiced measurement together, then students can practice measurement in a variety of ways during center time. We don’t want students to encounter a math skill for the first time during math centers.
In this math activity, students will measure the image, then find the matching picture on their response page and record their measurement. As I said before, students will find these math center activities again and again throughout the school year.
We change the themes throughout the year, so this math center activity never gets old!
As the year progressed so did the level of difficulty. The result? My students’ number sense soared, and I was able to meet with my small groups.
Number Sense Math Centers
Guided math was part of my daily schedule, so having students engaged in independent work was so important. These activity cards allow students to work on many math skills with different hands-on activities.
Important Math Skills
- numeral recognition
- tally marks
- number words
- ten frames
Use the Same Math Cards in Different Ways
- sorting numbers
- compare more and less
- math memory game
- math Go Fish
- one additional math center game activity
You can see in the image above, students are comparing the math cards. They can also play a game with the spinner. Think of the old fashion card game, “war.”
Each time we change the theme for these different activities, it feels like a whole new game, but it is just additional practice.
This student is using a similar set of cards and putting the number cards in numerical order. He places each number card in order to form a number line. Then the student will add cards below it that represent the same number. Essentially the students are building a number tower. The number card may be a ten frame, tally marks, or a subitizing card. The math activity could also be done in a pocket chart.
Once the week’s theme was over, I would put some of these “paperless” activities in our early finisher tubs… AKA Dessert Tubs. These different center activities worked perfectly! You can read more about dessert tubs by clicking:
This game mat is called Bump! Students love this fun game. As you can see, students are working on composing and decomposing teen numbers. We are using math manipulatives as a game piece, but you can also use other fun manipulatives like mini erasers
Kindergarten Math Center Roll and Color
Kindergarten students start this year by rolling a die and coloring the picture. However, as the year progresses, we get FANCY!
We change the pocket dice and students add or subtract. Then color the page accordingly. Coloring is not only fun it also is great fine motor practice. Students are building the same handwriting muscles!
These dice are one of my favorite center materials. You can find them on Amazon (affiliate link.)
Kindergarten Math Center Graphs and Data
This is another fun activity that we include in many of my math work station units.
Students spin the spinner and collect data. Then they complete the graph and compare the information they collected. Such a fun activity!
Ten Frame Math Center Fun
Any opportunity to turn an activity into a game… I’m all there for it! This ten frame game is a great activity that is all about strengthening our number sense. We start the year off by using a five frame. Then we graduate to a ten frame.
Offering both versions to students allows you to provide activities that meet your individual student needs.
Math centers are my students’ favorite thing… EVER! If we missed it for some reason the whole class would fuss at me. I loved that students worked on math concepts in many different ways and had a great time doing it!
Teachers love that these math centers are predictable and you don’t have to teach the math center each week! In the math station bundle, you get 21 different themes! That is over 160 math centers! Additionally, each math center comes with “I Can” task cards so students can truly be independent workers.
You can also purchase this mega bundle on TPT. Check it out here:
Are you looking for more math center ideas?
- Engaging Math Games For Kindergarten Printable Free File Activity TOO!
- 15 Kindergarten Math Centers That Will Engage Your Class ALL Year! (Free File)
- 3 Free Printable Kindergarten Winter Math Activities