One of the most common concerns teachers have about math centers is the management piece. Besides visual timers, visual groups on display, consistent center activities, and an official attention getter/signal, the other important component for students is reflection time.
Reflection Time Sheets
This takes a little bit of training during the launching lessons but teach your students how to reflect. First, make an anchor chart if necessary. Then, ask the questions. What went well? What didn’t go well? What was tough? Was anything too easy? What questions do you want to ask your teacher? These types of questions can be answered in the reflection box for each day. We keep these math center notes in our math centers folders.
Discuss Reflection Time
After the students complete their math reflection for the day, have a whole group discussion to wrap up the math block. Ask the class, “Who wants to share something that went well for them today?” “Why do you think it went well?” “Does anyone else have something to share?” “Who has something to share that they felt didn’t go well?” “Why do you feel that was a struggle?” “What could you have done differently?” This open dialogue is not something that comes naturally to students but with time it develops and becomes a very valuable piece of the math block. There are so many lessons that students learn during this time of the math block.
These math center reflection notes can be found in this free download.