Minutes in Math Make a Difference

I don't know about you but I am constantly left feeling like there is never enough time in a day to cover all that I want/need to cover....and because of this, I know that every minute counts and is really important.  One thing I added to my daily routine a few years ago was my Morning Math meeting.  I have posted about this several times so if you want to read more details about it you can check out this link:) HERE 
In a nutshell, I set up my little board with a mix of all kinds of math...some review, some new that we haven't even gotten to, ALWAYS multiplication...the kids come to the carpet and sit and solve on their dry erase boards, then we go over the answers.  They look forward to this EVERY day. 
-  it's a great way to spiral in all kinds of skills
-it gives me a quick little assessment of who has it and who doesn't
- it's quick practice
One thing I have found really eye opening is that if a student misses one of the problems, most of the time they are able to explain why, once we have gone over it:)  The best thing about this???  The whole things takes about 10 - 15 minutes.  We do this every morning at the beginning of our math block. 
Some of the MOST valuable minutes in math are right here, on this carpet, in front of this board.
Another little activity I started and wanted to share was our post it challenge.  Every morning I write a word problem on the board.  When the students come in, they unpack, do their morning routines and then get started on this.  I supply  a little stack of post its.  Once a student solves it, they post it on the board and continue with their morning routine.  This is all done BEFORE the bell rings:)  As soon as we are done with Morning Math meeting, the kids return to their seats and we go over the post it challenge.  Again, just minutes, but really valuable ones:) 
Hope one or both of these ideas are something you can use.  If you do something different that just takes minutes, I would love to hear about it:)  Comment below!


  1. I love this! I would really like to try the post-it challenge, what a great idea! Thank you Tara!

  2. Where do you pull your word problem questions from? Do you have a favourite book or bank of questions?

    1. Sheila, I use our text, we work out of two different books and I also make some up based on the needs I see in the classroom:)

  3. Thanks for you for another meaningful snippet of an idea that can be applied to any grade level! I love hearing when my kids recognize their mistakes & share it!

  4. Great ideas. I could always use a few more math minutes. Some students who get in late or eat breakfast at school would still benefit, too. They'd listen when we went over the problems. Thanks!
    Laughter and Consistency

  5. LOVE the post it note challenge! I think I'll try incorporating some of the tasks that are posed onTwitter with the Global Math Task Twitter Challenge. We can look them over and choose one or two answers we like to share on Twitter! Thanks for opening up your classroom! #gmttc4 #MTBoS
    Mrs. Samuelson's Swamp Frogs

  6. Such great reminders and ideas!! I LOVE that you are using the whiteboards for the morning math meeting - I need to do this - and my kids LOVE using their whiteboards.
    Runde's Room

  7. Tara, I have your math meeting set, and I absolutely love it! Sticking magnets to the back of each category makes it so easy to switch the skills daily or weekly. I also love your post-it note challenge. I am a HUGE fan of stickies, though I usually use post-its for student feedback. I am definitely trying your strategy this week! Thanks a ton!

    Maegan @ Elementary Brown-ies

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  10. Love the idea of using Post-its to record students answers to word problems. At the moment my students are responding in their math journals, but this is great to break up the routine. Not to mention the fact that my kiddos LOVE Post-its :0)
    Thanks for the idea...

  11. Thank you for all your wonderful ideas. I always look forward to reading your blog.

  12. Thank you for all your wonderful ideas. I always look forward to reading your blog.

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  14. What a great idea- my students LOVE their whiteboards too. I love the quick spiral idea. I LOVE your blog you SAVED me in my 1st year in 4th last year!Thank you for sharing your GREAT ideas! =) www.laughsparkleteach.blogspot.com

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