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2nd Grade Math Centers: Ideas & Activities

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Get information about setting up a math center for your 2nd graders with this article. You can get some useful ideas and find directions for engaging math activities.

Ideas for 2nd Grade Math Centers

Options

There is no perfect math center that you have to conform to. Centers can and should be individualized to meet the needs of your students, allowing you the freedom to design the center that works for your class. You can stick with something simple, such as a reading center that's well stocked with literature about the mathematics subjects your students are studying. Or you can design a center that's focused on activities and games. However, there are some basics guidelines your center should follow!

Guidelines

Your center should focus on helping students practice the skills they're learning in class. This means that you will need to change and adapt the contents of your math center throughout the school year, depending on what you're teaching.

Make sure students understand how to complete center activities and go over the rules and expectations of center time. You should also be present during center time to help your students with any problems they might have and to monitor their progress. While you might have your students moving through the center on a schedule, or at their own pace, your oversight is important!

Additionally, centers do the most good when they're used every day, so make sure to schedule appropriately. Finally, don't overcrowd your center. There should only be 2-6 students at a center at one time.

2nd Grade Math Center Activities

Fill in the Math Facts

This activity can help students practice basic math computations, like addition and subtraction.

Supplies:

  • Math fact cards
  • 2 sets of cards labeled with numbers your students are learning (e.g. single digit, multi-digit, decimal numbers, etc.)
  • Counters

Directions:

You can make the math fact cards with flashcards and a marker. Simply write the math facts you want your students to practice on the cards, such as ( x ) plus 2 equals ( x ). Create as many cards as you'd like, focusing on addition or subtraction.

Once everything is set up, your students will be ready to play! Give each student a set of number cards. A student selects a number card and a math fact card. They must solve the math fact with their number. For example, if they use the math fact mentioned above and draw the number 10, the answer would be 12, as 10 plus 2 equals 12. Encourage students to use their counters if they need help.

Give your students more help with these mathematical concepts with these lessons on addition and subtraction.

Equal Multiplication

Students can use this activity to work on understanding multiplication.

You'll Need:

  • Counters
  • Bags
  • Cards labelled with the numbers 2-10

What to Do:

Have students draw a number card first. They must then solve a multiplication word problem that involves the number they drew. You can create your own problem or use one such as: 'Uncle Jim gave us two bags of candy. There were ( x ) pieces of candy in each bag. How much candy did Uncle Jim give us?'

Students can use their counters and bags to work out this problem, building their understanding of multiplication. They can also check out this lesson, titled What is Multiplication?. This lesson reinforces what students are learning in class and center time to help them develop their math skills.

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