Math Centers-What an Improvement

      Color Crayons The beginning of the year is always tricky when it comes to assessing. Most of the students have not been studying or thinking about anything school-related over the summer, and tend to assess lower than normal. My students started the first weeks of school very low in math. I was actually scared that I had so many low students, and without an aide in my class, I didn't know what I was going to do.
     I recently wrote a post commenting on the benefits of math centers, which really is my answer to helping meet student needs. Since we have now been doing math centers for several weeks, I thought I would comment on how much improvement I have already seen in my students. The benefit of doing centers is that you get to focus on small groups of students at a time. Depending on how much time you have alloted, you might get to work with anywhere from 2 to 4 small groups a day. My time contsraints allow me to work with only 2 small groups a day, so I work with my lowest group, and my middle group, but what a difference that time makes! I track student progress between quizzes and exams to see what they are struggling with, and where they need to go. Though many students tested very low at first, everyone has improved. Most students have improved by 30% or more. Those who have so far shown a lower percentage improvement are those who started pretty high initially.
   Girl with Books I am so pleased with the improvement of my students that I really wanted to share it with all of you, and use this as yet another reason to plead for math centers and small groups. Its effectiveness really is astounding.