The school year is almost here for us down in the South. With that in mind, I am linking up with some of my favorite teacher bloggers to bring you some Back to School Survival Tips and a chance to win TWO $25 TeachersPayTeachers Gift Certificates on EACH of our blogs! For my tip, I wanted to share with you my favorite math charts to start the year. These are the math charts that I use to set the tone and introduce a lot of my common procedures in math. In fact, these are my math mini-lessons the first week of school. If you want your students to be successful with math instruction, you have to clearly lay out the expectations from the beginning of the year. These charts, hopefully, do just that. They also hang in the room, providing a written reminder all year long.

I am also linking up with some amazing upper elementary bloggers to bring you a variety of helpful tips and a GIVEAWAY to start your year. Check out all of these amazing topics to help you survive and thrive in the first weeks of school and the entire school year! Links to the blog posts will be at the bottom of this post. And make sure you stick around to enter for a chance to win TWO $25 TpT gift certificates!

The first chart I want to share with you is all about my math center expectations. We do math centers at least two times a week in my class. This is the time when I reteach and meet with struggling students. I also use this time to challenge and enrich. Read more about my Guided Math instruction here. I start the year off doing math centers after clearly going over the expectations with the students. The first week of math centers is all about ensuring the students meet the expectations and follow the procedures. When I meet with groups during this week, I assess the students on basic math facts, word problem understanding, and number sense. For the math mini- lesson, we go over each expectation and talk about how to meet that expectation and why each expectation is important. As the students participate in math centers, we refer back to the chart to make sure we have met those expectations. Depending on the group, we may do one center rotation then come back as a class to do a check up. During this check up, the students self assess and discuss whether or not they met the expectations. We also talk about any roadblocks or problems with meeting these expectations during this checkup. If the group is doing well with the expectations, we do the checkup as a class after all the center rotations (typically 3-4).

My favorite math centers to use are the ones that focus on content and engagement, and not complicated prep or student directions. This allows the math center time to be productive and the students are able to meet the expectations. Here are a few of my favorite math resources to use during math workshop:

Math Choice Boards are fabulous for differentiating and allowing for student choice. The students can challenge themselves at their own independent levels. Read more about my Math Choice boards by clicking here.

Roll and Answer games are perfect for practicing and reviewing key content, and they are self checking. The students can work with a partner or independently. The answer keys allows the students to self-assess their learning. Then, the students work with their partner to learn from their mistakes. Click here to read more about these games and grab some free ones to try out!

The next chart that I make helps the students take ownership of their math notebooks. I make this chart with the students but these are the statements I usually guide the students to if they don't come up with them on their own. We create this chart because I want the students to understand what a great tool their math notebook is and how it will help them succeed in math. This allows them to have ownership of their notebook.

Math Choice Boards are fabulous for differentiating and allowing for student choice. The students can challenge themselves at their own independent levels. Read more about my Math Choice boards by clicking here.

After helping the students realize the importance of their math notebooks, we move right into Math Notebook Expectations. I keep the expectations simple but important. As we read each expectation, we discuss why this is important and connect it back to the chart shown above.

One of my new favorite resources for Interactive Math Notebooks are my Interactive Word Problems. They are easy to use, but so important as the majority of state testing is done in word problem format. Click here to read more about them and grab some freebies to try out.

And finally, this last chart is one of my go to charts that I refer to all year. From the beginning of the year, I like to set the expectation of working hard and get the students to buy in. I pose this question of the students: "What do mathematicians do when they are stuck on a math task?" Together, we brainstorm a list of possible responses. I have this list handy to help guide the students if they are stuck. This chart is a staple in my classroom after making it. When students are stuck on a math task, they are reminded to look at the chart to see what they should do next.

Those are my favorite math charts to start the year on the right foot. What are your go to Math Charts that you make in those first weeks of school? Let me know in the comments!

Now for the giveaway! Enter for a chance to win a $25 TeachersPayTeachers gift certificate! I will be giving away TWO!

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Then, don't forget to head over to these blogs and read their survival tips and enter their giveaways for more chances to win!

Now for the giveaway! Enter for a chance to win a $25 TeachersPayTeachers gift certificate! I will be giving away TWO!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Then, don't forget to head over to these blogs and read their survival tips and enter their giveaways for more chances to win!