New and Improved Math Block plus Math Journals

I really enjoy teaching math which is strange coming from the girl who struggled a lot with math growing up and throughout high school! Funny thing is, my high school math teacher was the one who really made me want to be a teacher! I always thought about it, but never acted upon it. Mr. Hess was the best teacher I have ever had! He would come in early and stay late just to make sure you understood what he was teaching. He brought humor and fun into what is usually a boring high school math class. I remember hearing about his very last day of work and how the school got him a limo. The limo picked him up from his house, brought him to work, took him to lunch, and then back home at the end of the day. He truly was the best! Thanks Hessman-as we all called you! I love hearing about his retirement life on Facebook! It's great to catch up with him every now and then! 

So, my love for math has really grown over the years as I have felt more comfortable with teaching the same grade for 4 years now. 

Today, I bring you my new and improved math block! 
And at the end of this post, I promise you a chance to win something:)

I teach math daily from 1:30-2:50
Here is my breakdown of my math block

From 1:30-1:40 I get in a whole group mini lesson. This is where I introduce the topic for the day. Usually with a video or a chart that I have made.

Then they move into 3 groups that I have selected. Each group gets 20 minutes at their rotation. When students come to me, we are working on activities for that day's topic. If they get it right away and it is too easy, I will work with them on something a bit more challenging on the same topic or review a different topic. 

If some students get it and some don't, I may give the ones that get it an independent practice activity and the others will stay with me for the rest of that 20 minutes and get more help. 

When they are not with me the other two rotations are math choices. There are 5 choices to choose from. They pick 2 a day. Since there are 5 days in a week, they go to each center twice a week. 

They keep track of what centers they picked with this sheet

The blue and pink circles have their class number on it. I did the two colors to match what center they are at: blue for center 1 and pink for center 2

Their math choices are:
Math Technology
I have math game links on my class website they can pick to play! Pretty straight forward

Math with Someone
This is where they play games to reinforce math skills previously taught

Math Facts
This is where they practice facts independently with Number of the Day and Let's Multiply

Math by Myself
this is their math calendar I change out weekly. The math calendar has 12 questions on it that relate to objectives I have taught already. This helps me spiral some objectives since our pacing guide doesn't do that.

They use these sheets to record their answers

Math Writing
This is where my new math journals are coming into play! I just LOVE how they turned out!

In this unit, you can get

I practiced ONE problem whole group the other day with my class, and it took 40 minutes! They really thought it was a TON of work to do one problem, but they also said it was very helpful. The one problem we picked to do was 6 steps! They were shocked! They thought math problems only had one, two or maybe three steps!

This math writing center is designed to have students WRITE out their thinking when solving a multistep problem. They have to explain each step, and at the end I had them write a summary of how they solved that problem! Here is a look at one student's example of the 6 step problem we did! 

I also had them write the problem out on the top!

This is just one of the many graphic organizers I made in this unit pack. I just liked how this one worked for me and my kids.

What I also did different in this unit was make it editable! So if you don't like this
You could use this and make your own math journal requirements

I wanted teachers to be able to put their own spin on this depending on how they plan on using it in the classroom

The 20 word problems vary with how many steps. I really tried hard to create multistep problems that required higher level thinking skills. I also included an answer key! 

With the last 10 minutes I have, I like to bring everyone back together and talk about the day in math. What did we learn, are there any questions, that kind of thing. 

Here is my updated math focus board! I love it!

So far so good with these new improvements! I hope it stays that way;

I would LOVE to giveaway my Math Journals Unit Pack. All you need to do is leave a comment below! I will select a winner TOMORROW night! And if you can't wait to see if you won, I have it up in both of my shops! 

If you have any questions about my math block, just ask! See you all tomorrow with some new fonts! 


  1. Wow! You put a lot of work into this and it looks so useful! Hope I am lucky!

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

  2. Your math resources are awesome! This looks great. Thank you for sharing about it and for the chance to win.
    :o) V.
    Special Teacher for Special Kids

  3. I can see a real use for this in my classroom. It looks fantastic. I have had difficulty teaching math this school year with common core. I hope I get to be the lucky one to win.

  4. I love your math journals!! Thanks for the opportunity!

    Angela :)
    Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. These look awesome! I have seriously been neglecting math journals even though I love them!
    Teaching in the Valley

  7. I love using math journals in my classroom and this pack looks SO helpful!

    Lindsey -

  8. Your math block looks very interesting. Your math board is amazing! I LOVE your math journals. I'd love to have them. Thanks!

  9. This looks like a GREAT way to rotate your kiddos. I LOVE how involved it is. I would use this as soon as I printed it all out!

    Third Grade All Stars

  10. I am looking for ways to improve my math block, so thank you for sharing your ideas! Your math board and journal ideas look awesome! :)

  11. Love it! I really like the higher level thinking involved with the multi step problems.

  12. I love your rotation ideas. I co-teach and just recently updated my groups, but I like the idea of math facts and math writing. I think I am going to add that in as a rotation.


  13. Everything looks awesome! Thank you for sharing this!


  14. I am keeping my fingers crossed! We have an instructional review visit on Thursday and if I had this going on in my room, I would totally be the bomb! This is amazing.

  15. Oh I love these and would so love to win! They seem like they will definitely help the kids when it comes to the constructed response testing!

  16. Tonya you have outdone yourself! This is just what my third graders need! I absolutely LOVE it! I'm adding it to my wishlist just in case I don't win but my fingers are crossed! :o)

    A is for Apple B is for Blog

  17. This looks fabulous! Would love to win! reyesremarkablerants at gmail dot com

  18. I love teaching Math too. It is my favorite. I had a great Math teacher in High School too, he would even stay late on Friday nights to help me once I graduated and was in college. Love your Math rotations!


  19. When I finish up my teaching certification, I am definitely going to have a bulletin board designed like yours for Math centers. It looks very helpful visually for the students. Nicely organized and self explanatory!
    Great post.

  20. I love this idea. I am adding it to my wish list. I do a little version of this now. I also teach third grade and am always looking for fresh new ideas for Math.


  21. SO fun. I am now working on revamping my math workshop...without banging my head on the wall! You have made me feel inspired.

    Chickadee Jubilee

  22. Wow! This is absolutely fantastic! I have many of your products and would love to have this one! I teach 3rd grade and this would be perfect to help with my math class. I'm really looking to make some changes to how I teach and would love to use this in my rotations.

    Thanks so much for all you do.


  23. Hey all, thanks SO much for the kind words. I was just thinking...would anyone be interested if I put this all in one combo math block stuff? I mean, I have the units in bits and pieces, but not all in one spot. I may just do this if people are interested in it!

  24. This would make an awesome addition to our math notebooks! It all looks great, and I absolutely love the modeling for them of summarizing each step as they go through it. Also, love the math focus board!

  25. This is an amazing resource! I do something like this, but I pull it from everywhere, and it would be nice to have it all in one place. I just started doing math notebooking this year and I love it. I hope I win! I teach 3rd grade, so it would be perfect!

  26. I'm thinking about starting math workshop and I so appreciate all that you've shared about how you run your math block. I'd love to win your math journal to help me get started! Putting everything together in one pack sounds like a great idea to me :)

  27. I LOVE your math block!! How wonderful!! :) This would be amazing for me to use with my kids at my school. I am sure you already picked a winner but I figured I could still try ;)

    Also, I wanted to tell you I finished my ELA Common Core Pack!! With your FABULOUS font!! Check it out :)
    And I hope you don't mind, but I am going to use your font AGAIN to update my BEST SELLER WEATHER UNIT! (yay)!

  28. This looks awesome. I'm moving up to third grade next year so I'm looking for some different routines and more challenging sets. Fingers crossed!
    - Amanda {}
    Inspired in Second

  29. I came across your blog post as I am looking into revamping my math centers and this is wonderful! I was wondering if the rotation numbers, daily number form, and center rotation/ choices are available for download? Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Wow, a blast from the past! I believe this is in my Daily Math Notebook until on TpT.