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Math Centers

Janet Keller
3rd Grade
Daves Creek Elementary School
Forsyth County Schools


“Math Tubs” are a time when students have the opportunity to practice and reinforce skills learned, as well as providing enrichment experiences. The tubs are designed to allow children to use hands on or real world applications in order to develop their understanding of the standard at a deep conceptual level. In addition, the students write about what they learned, which helps clarify misconceptions and allows them to reach a deeper level of understanding.

Illustrative Task
Students choose an activity in each tub, work on the task, write about the experience in their math journal, and choose another activity to complete. The teacher serves as facilitator.

GPS Addressed
M3N1. Students will further develop their understanding of whole numbers and ways of representing them.
  1. Identify place values from tenths through ten thousands.
  2. Understand the relative sizes of digits in place value notation (10 times, 100 times, 1/10 of a single digit whole number) and ways to represent them.
M3N2. Students will further develop their skills of addition and subtraction and apply them in problem solving.
  1. Use the properties of addition and subtraction to compute and verify the results of computation.
  2. Use mental math and estimation strategies to add and subtract.
  3. Solve problems requiring addition and subtraction.
M3N3. Students will further develop their understanding of multiplication of whole numbers and develop the ability to apply it in problem solving.
  1. Describe the relationship between addition and multiplication, i.e., multiplication is defined as repeated addition.
  2. Know the multiplication facts with understanding and fluency to 10 x 10.
  3. Use arrays and area models to develop understanding of the distributive property and to determine partial products for multiplication of 2- or 3-digit numbers by a 1- digit number.
  4. Understand the effect on the product when multiplying by multiples of 10.
  5. Apply the identity, commutative and associative properties of multiplication and verify the results.
  6. Use mental math and estimation strategies to multiply.
  7. Solve problems requiring multiplication.
M3N4. Students will understand the meaning of division and develop the ability to apply it in problem solving.
  1. Understand the relationship between division and multiplication and between division and subtraction.
  2. Recognize that division may be two situations: the first is determining how many equal parts of a given size or amount may be taken away from the whole as in repeated subtraction, and the second is determining the size of the parts when the whole is separated into a given number of equal parts as in a sharing model.
  3. Recognize problem-solving situations in which division may be applied and write corresponding mathematical expressions.
  4. Explain the meaning of a remainder in division in different circumstances.
  5. Divide a 2 and 3-digit number by a 1-digit divisor.
  6. Solve problems requiring division.
M3M1. Students will further develop their understanding of the concept of time by determining elapsed time of a full, half and quarter-hour.

M3M3. Students will understand and measure the perimeter of simple geometric figures (squares and rectangles).
  1. Understand the meaning of the linear unit and measurement in perimeter.
  2. Understand the concept of perimeter as being the boundary of a simple geometric figure.
  3. Determine the perimeter of a simple geometric figure by measuring and summing the lengths of the sides.
M3M4. Students will understand and measure the area of simple geometric figures (squares and rectangles).
  1. Understand the meaning of the square unit and measurement in area.
  2. Model (by tiling) the area of a simple geometric figure using square units (square inch, square foot, etc.).
  3. Determine the area of squares and rectangles by counting, addition, and multiplication with models.
M3A1. Students will use mathematical expressions to represent relationships between quantities and interpret given expressions.
  1. Describe and extend numeric and geometric patterns.
  2. Describe and explain a quantitative relationship represented by a formula (such as the perimeter of a geometric figure).
  3. Use a symbol, such as □ and Δ, to represent an unknown and find the value of the unknown in a number sentence.
M3D1. Students will create and interpret simple tables and graphs.
  1. Solve problems by organizing and displaying data in bar graphs and tables.
  2. Construct and interpret bar graphs using scale increments of 1, 2, 5, and 10.
  3. Develop and evaluate mathematical arguments and proofs.
  4. Select and use various types of reasoning and methods of proof.

Video Information
Use these questions to guide your thinking about some of the important teacher ideas in the lesson featured in the video clip.
  1. What kinds of questions does the teacher ask to promote students’ problem solving?
  2. How is the teacher gauging students’ current understandings and building from those understandings?
  3. Consider the GPS standards listed with this video. How does the lesson featured in this video address each of these?
  4. What makes this lesson different from lessons you have taught on this topic?

Classroom Materials

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