12+ Perfect Activities for Math Centers

Inside: A list of resources to use in your elementary math centers

Math centers are an excellent classroom strategy! Why? Students can work independently, by themselves, or in partners, while you call individual students or small groups to work with you. Center time is one of my favorite times of the week. It is a much-needed change of pace for me and my students!

However you run your centers, assigned rotation, or student selected, you don’t want to spend a lot of time prepping each station or giving instructions to students. You also need enough materials to last ALL school year long, so that your students don’t run out of things to do. To help you with all of that, here are 12+ activities for math centers that are perfect for your classroom!

calculator and numbers- Activities for Math Centers

Focus on Specific Skills Weekly

Our 36 Weeks of Skills Practice are the best activities for math centers! They are designed to focus on one specific math skill, daily or weekly for the entire school year. 

It will be low prep for you, but will pack a punch for your students! 

  • Math Fluency – Our 36 Weeks of Math Fluency Practice will help keep kids’ math skills sharp by reviewing them each week! They should take no longer than a few minutes, so they are easy to fit into your schedule while packing a powerful punch. Each practice page contains 15 or 20 problems (depending on the grade level) to sharpen fluency skills every week. 
  • Backwards Story Problems– Get kids thinking deeper about math by creating a story problem… backwards!  children are given an answer and need to come up with a problem that has their answer. Then, they will brainstorm who and what the problem is about, write the problem, and draw a picture. Each backwards story problem contains 5 sections that can be completed each day throughout the week. However, you may choose to complete all five sections in one day if you prefer.
  • Quick Math Reviews– These quick reviews will go over grade-appropriate math content. They include 5 math questions to review math topics you have taught your students. They are designed to be completed individually, taking on average 7-10 minutes to complete. Use these so that you can be sure your students are on track!
  • Math Riddles – Children will need to solve math problems to find the answer to the themed riddle. There are different themes every week including, astronauts, flowers, and music, so your kids won’t get bored. Kids LOVE solving for the answer to these fun and engaging riddles each month!
  • Counting– Help your Pre-K & Kindergarten students practice their counting skills and identify numbers up to 20 with these fun worksheets! They’ll keep their counting skills sharp with practice counting cute pictures. 

You can purchase these activities individually for grades Pre-K through 6th or save and buy the whole bundle and you will have multiple math and ELA activities for EVERY week of the school year!

If you are looking for more ideas on ways to use the 36 Weeks of Skills Practice Bundle, check out this blog post 3 Exciting Ways to Use the 36 Weeks of Skills Practice Bundle.

Add Candy to Math

Your students will love doing all of the activities for math centers included in our Sweets N’ Treats Bundle for Pre-K through 5th Grade! With multiple themes, they can be used throughout the year as a fun and engaging way to get your students practicing their math skills. Your students will have so much fun using candy to do the math! 

Here’s where the + part of the activities for math centers comes in! Each candy math theme comes with the following activities, so you will have LOTS of options for centers.

  • Count & Sort Candies by Color (to be a reference for future activities)
  • Graphing Candy By Color
  • Candy Fractions by Color
  • Comparing Candy Fractions
  • Candy Probability

Easy As Pi(e)

More fun activities for math centers! These pie-themed activities help students practice their area & circumference and fraction skills. The “pie” theme is perfect for Thanksgiving or Pi Day, but it can also be used at any time. I mean, when is pie ever NOT a good idea? 😉

  • Area & Circumference– In these 4 engaging pie-themed Area and Circumference worksheets, students will find the area and circumference of pies. The activity also includes critical thinking questions to get the students thinking deeply about the concepts to obtain a fuller understanding. The Create Your Own pages allow students to fill in the pies with their own numbers and solve for the area and circumference. The teacher answer key is included. Great for Pi Day, Thanksgiving, or anytime!
  • Fractions– Fractions CAN be easy as pie when students are having fun! With these engaging thanksgiving pie-themed fraction worksheets, students will be able to identify fractions, draw fractions, and solve story problems using fractions and a picture graph. This also includes an exciting opening activity using treats to get the students hooked. The teacher’s answer key is included.

Pull activities from our Ready To Go Sub Plans

  • Ready-To-Go Sub Plans- If you have our Ready-To-Go Sub Plans, you can pull the math activities from them to use for math centers. In addition to math fluency, math reviews, and backwards story problems, there are also activities such as color by number, story problems, grade-specific lessons, games, and more. 
  • Math Only Sub Plans– Or if you want just the math activities from our sub plans check out our departmentalized math sub plans for each grade level 1st-6th grade. They include EVERY math activity from our Ready-To-Go Sub Plans.

Celebrate the 100th Day of School

As always, these resources can also be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop!

Looking for more center ideas? Check out this blog post for resource ideas for Literacy Centers

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