FAQ’S {The Math Edition}

HAPPY FRIDAY, friends!!!  I've recently had a lot of emails and a few comments asking questions about how I set up my math tubs & what my math time looks like, so I thought I'd just give you a little breakdown right here :)

Math Mania ~ 8:00-9:30

Morning announcements are broadcast around 8 and as soon as they’re over, we start our calendar routine {you can check out the details HERE}.  Immediately following calendar, I send the kids back to their desks for some Math journaling.  This usually consists of “Number of the Day”  and a problem solving prompt.  I usually give the kids a couple of minutes to work alone, and then we share aloud. 


After Math journals, we meet back up for a whole group lesson and/or activity.  This could range anywhere from 15-30 minutes…just depends on the lesson :)

Once the whole group lesson is over, the kids visit their math tubs.  {Now…let me just say that I’ve organized my math block like this for several years and I LOVE it.  I know there are probably MANY different ways to set things up, but I LOVE the way this system works for my classroom!!}  I have 4 math stations/tubs 4 days a week.  3 tubs are set-up to reinforce objectives and the 4th isn’t actually a tub…it’s computers!!  The kids on computers have a choice between several different math programs that reinforce the objectives, too!

Here is our station chart.  Each picture represents a different tub.  Each group will visit a different tub each day.  I know that a lot of teachers love for the kids to choose their stations, but I might be a little controlling in this area?!  HA!!  Seriously though…I group the kids by ability level.  Each small group has a mix of high/med/low ability kids.


If the kids have time after visiting their math tubs, they can choose an activity from my math shelf.  The activities on the math shelf are activities that they’ve already visited in the previous week’s math tubs.  They LOVE to revisit “old” station activities and games :)


The kids visit math tubs Monday-Thursday.  I use our whole group time to introduce/explain/demonstrate the week’s math tubs on Mondays.  Fridays are our game days.  I LOVE game day Fridays!!!  Our 3rd grade book buddies come down to read with us during our math tub time, so incorporating a “game day” into our week just seemed perfect!! 

I LOVE math games for the kids!!  I think they’re great tools for reinforcing problem solving skills and creating/using appropriate strategies.  The kids also have the opportunity to share their ideas with their peers, work cooperatively, use math terms and language to communicate with others, and practice visual discrimination and memorization skills.  I set out lots of different games from which they can choose, but their favorites are always the BIG “board games” I make myself :)  I’ve had this one since my FIRST year teaching 9 years ago!!! HA!


I hope this explanation is helpful!!  Like I said…I know there are MANY different ways to organize, but this system works SO well for my classroom!! 

I would love to hear how your math time is organized!!  What do your math tubs look like?!  I LOVE new ideas!!!!


  1. I love all of your downloads. . .not sure my ink budget does though. Thanks so much for sharing.

    What kinds of things do you put in your math journal? I was following kindergartenkindergarten but she has fallen off the radar. I am doing lots of story and logic type problems. Any new suggestions would be wonderful.

    Where did you get the cute containers that you keep your buttons, etc math things in? They are wonderful.

  2. Thank you so much for posting your latest blog. It really helped to see how you structure your math tubs.

  3. Oh my gosh! I am so happy that I found your newest blog..... I have been following your family blog since I was pregnant with my 19 month old. We had the same due date and I just fell in love with your writing! I cannot even remember exactly how I found you.... I am a Reading Specialist in College Station and cannot wait to share your blog with some of our teachers! Love your math tubs! I am itching to get back into the classroom and my itch just got much stronger! ;)

  4. I have always wanted to start Math tubs, but have never done it. Do you put activities that reinforce that week's skills, or things that reinforce any skills your kids have been working on up to that point? I would love any feedback you can give me on this subject!


    meganwheeler44 at yahoo.com

  5. I'm also wondering where you got those cute numbered buckets that hold your buttons- and I assume other manipulatives. They make your shelf look so organized!