## Tuesday, July 21, 2020

### 10 Ways we Can STILL do Math Centers or Math Menu With COVID Restrictions: In Person Learning

One of the best things we have ever done to move our instruction forward over the past few years is implement math menu.  A math menu helps us meet all our students where they are.  It gives a chance to provide practice for kids in their zone of proximal development.  It is an excellent tool for differentiating instruction and practice and gives kids voice and choice in their learning.

Some folks do math stations or guided math as well.  These ideas should also work in those situations

In recent weeks, I have been thinking about how we can still provide this level of differentiation with restrictions due to COVID.  Here are my ideas so far!  I am sure I will be refining and revising these as I start working with kids and trying them out.  If you have any to add please feel free to leave them in the comments below or head over to our Differentiating Math Facebook Group where we will be having these conversations a lot!

- Offer kids partner games where each partner has their own supplies.  For example if kids were playing a game with cards to compare fractions, they would each have their own deck of cards and would play 6 feet apart from each other or on opposite sides of a partition and they would just pile their own cards into a win or lose pile.

- Kids could have everything they need for menu/centers right at their desk.  Teachers could offer a menu packet that was a mix of games, review, activities with choices built in.j

- Offer more individual games, especially those that are self checking like this write and wipe factor game or these number puzzles that only fit together when they are correct.

- Kids could have more online games offered during menu time.  We curate ours using a school wide math blog but building this into your Google classroom, seesaw, etc would also work and would make a transition to at home learning easier.

- Choose games that require less pieces

- Have kids play the game with an imaginary friend.  They get twice the practice this way but don't have the benefit of actually working with another person!

- Choose dice games that are easy to level up and level down.  Most schools have plenty of dice in them!  Here are a few of our favorites

-Make each kid in your class their own deck of cards that can be used for lots of different games.  We do this often with 10 frame cards, 20 frame cards, numbers to 120 place value decks and numbers to 1000 place value decks.  It is some work to print and cut all the decks but they can be used SO MANY different ways!

-Make each kid a math box!  I have many more posts to come in the next month about math boxes but they have been something we have been using for the last 5 or so years, have given us a ton of leverage with differentiation and made the transition from in school to at home learning a lot smoother.  I am working on a FREE ebook right now about getting started with math boxes so if you want to hear more about these, be sure to check back or head over and join our Differentiating Math Facebook group

-If your students have used math centers or math menu in the past, ASK THEM for suggestions on how you can continue to offer them voice and choice with the current restrictions in your school.  My students always have the best ideas and even though I can't ask them yet, I totally plan on including their suggestions.  The ultimate voice and choice!

What ideas could you add to this list?  We would love to hear from you in the comments below or over on the Facebook group!

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