Using a “Math Menu” During Small Groups

In our first blog post about teaching math in small groups, we talked about using a math menu as one of the independent rotations. The math menu is a list of may-do activities that can be completed independently, and that allow for practice of the math skill. Since then, we’ve gotten lots of questions in the Markers and Minions Teacher Community Facebook group about what can be included on the math menu. Here are a few ideas for independent practice for your students during small group time.

1. Math Games

There are so many different math games that students can play that help reinforce the skills being taught. A great thing about using math games is that the same game can be used for several different skills, so you only have to teach how to play the game once. Many math games are free or cheap to implement because you can make games out of dice, dominos, cards, and manipulatives that come with your math curriculum.

2. Task Cards

Task cards are notecard style math problems that are great because you can print, laminate, and reuse them over and over again. The students pull a card from a stack or walk the room searching for task cards, and they solve the problem on their recording sheets.

3. Flash Cards

Another option on the math menu is for students to grab a set of flash cards to practice their fluency. They can practice on their own or with peers. You can use Kagan strategies to boost engagement; for example, students can play Quiz-Quiz-Trade with their cards. For this strategy, each student has a card with a fact on the front and the answer on the back. They pair up with another student, quiz that student on their fact, and then it’s their turn to get quizzed. After, they trade cards and go find another partner to quiz.

4. Flipgrid

Flipgrid is a fantastic way to integrate technology in a meaningful way. Students can record themselves explaining how to do a math problem or teaching the concept.

I am currently developing a program that grades 2-3 teachers can implement during their small group math instruction. It includes resources broken down by standard. Each standard comes with a pre-assessment (with a breakdown of each question, an answer key, and possible student misconceptions to look for), a student grouping guide based on the data from the pre-assessment, a set of differentiated task cards, and a set of differentiated math games. Sign up here to join the waitlist and to get updated about when it’s finished!

Join us over in the Markers and Minions Teacher Community Facebook group to keep up with the conversations or to ask us any questions!

Hi! I’m Toluca from Markers and Minions, where I help teachers feel more effective and confident with high-quality resources and an awesome teacher community!

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