5th Grade Math Centers

Instructor: Leah Salyer
Math centers are an excellent way to get your students working in small groups around the classroom while also allowing you to focus simultaneously on your own small group. There are many different ways that math centers can be organized for 5th graders. Read on to learn more about some of the different types of centers and the activities that can be completed within them.

Math Games

Students can play math games together to practice different math concepts. Some examples of math games include:

  • Computer math games can be a fun way to incorporate technology into a math lesson. During math centers, students can access the classroom's computers to play math games covering differing concepts based on their individual skill levels. These games keep track of students' progress and often will not allow them to move on to a new concept until they're ready.
  • Bingo is a fun and relatively simple game that can reinforce math concepts. Students can take turns in their groups being the bingo caller. One student will call out a math problem while the other students will find the answer to that problem on their bingo card. The first student to get 5 correct answers in a row on his or her bingo card wins. Bingo can be a great game to play when working with multiplication and division. Check out these lessons on multiplication and division to find resources that can help your students review these arithmetic concepts before beginning their bingo activity.
  • To play games with dice, students can team up into teams of two or three. This game can also be played as a whole group as long as it's not too large. Students take turns rolling two dice. They will then come up with the largest 2-digit number possible from their roll. For example, if a student rolls a 5 and a 6, the number 65 is the largest 2-digit number he or she can make. The student will then subtract that number from 500. Whoever reaches 0 first will win the game! If your students need to review their subtraction skills, click on the link to find engaging video lessons on this arithmetic operation.

Independent Work

Students can perform a wide variety of activities while working independently in a math center station.

  • Worksheets are a commonly used assignment that allows students to practice their problem-solving skills or review math facts independently. These worksheets can cover topics ranging from fractions to multiplication to geometry. If you're planning to have students work on one of these subjects, take a look at these lessons on fractions and geometric figures to find short videos and self-checking quizzes students can use to hone their skills.
  • Math journals are another option for independent study. You can supply students with a journal prompt or math problem and allow them to complete it during the center, turning their journals in once the time for that station is over.
  • This is also a great time to allow students to work in their math textbooks. Assign them a series of problems to complete for practice.

Teacher Time

One common math center station is time with the teacher. This allows you time to work with a small group of students on a specific math concept. This time is often used to introduce new concepts to students in smaller groups rather than as a whole class, and can also be used to reinforce any newly taught concepts or allow students more supervised practice. This is a great time to encourage students to ask questions and be vocal about what they're learning, as students are more likely to speak up in small groups.

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