Quick and Easy Math Stations (aka – Pimp Your Worksheet)

I LOVE Math Stations and wrote all about them before.  For easy stations, you can make fabulous math stations in a fraction of the time by simply cutting up a worksheet into 5 or 6 pieces.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 Math Worksheet
  • 1 Answer Key
  • 5/6 sheets of different colored paper
  • 1 Station Word Foldable**
    ** This is totally optional as students can simply do the work in their notebooks. 

First, I find a worksheet that has all of the topics I am interested in working on.  My “teacher edition math book” is of course FULL of these.  I print off the Station Templates onto colored paper and cut them in half.  (One half is to glue the questions on, one side is to glue the answers on.)   I cut the worksheet into 6 pieces and then glue stick them onto the Station Templates.  I glue stick the answers onto the matching colored “Answer” sheets and fold them in half.  I insert the Stations into clear picture frames for easy viewing (and sharing) and then tape the answers up in a central location.

Viola!  I have quick and easy, color coordinated Math Stations.  The students get tons of practice while moving around the room.  I can help students that need it.  The kids love them, I love them.  Everybody wins!  🙂

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33 thoughts on “Quick and Easy Math Stations (aka – Pimp Your Worksheet)

  1. Pingback: Marvelous Math Stations | I Speak Math

  2. I have been reading about your using stations on your blog and really like them. We started using them in our district about 12 years ago and have quite a collection of them now.
    I thought I’d share one we use.
    First, here’s the Teacher Notes we wrote on using stations:

    Here’s a mini version of a lab we created-L-I-N-E-A-R (we use “names” to identify the labs-our teachers and students like this idea) Some of the stations in this lab offer student choice which we added to differentiate instructions to support all learners.

    The full versions of these and other labs and organizers are available on the University of Massachusetts Regional Science Resource Center website:

    We update this twice a year (most recent was August and next will be at the beginning of January 2013.

  3. I needed this reminder/idea for math stations. I will often times use a worksheet (or part of one) for one of my math stations. But I have not thought about this for all the stations. It allows them to continue and practice along a common thread, but to have the freedom to move around and have an easy goal in sight as they complete each activity/station.


  4. Okay, I feel really dumb. But how do the stations work, do the groups rotate through them? Do the station cards rotate through the groups? Is there only one of each station? Sorry for being lame! and Thanks for sharing! I love the idea of “pimping” my worksheet!

    • Yes. There is one of each station for five or six stations total. The station instructions stay in one place. The students move from station to station. I like that they move around the room. It makes it more interesting for them. I usually assign struggling students to more beginning stations and instruct them to move through the stations in order. Other students I tell to just go to a station that isn’t crowded. I don’t time the stations bc I want the students to all work at their own pace. I hope this helps!

      • Thanks! It does. I will confess, I am not sure I could manage 30 students electing to go where they want…too many would elect to stay in one place…or move with a group and not get much done. I could make an independent assignment for those who find they choose to socialize.

      • You could also tell them that you are collecting their work for a grade at the end of the period. I had to do that my first year with one class. I also assign them a partner too, not their friend, to work with. I also put music on when they work. It makes it seem fun to them and gets them in a groove. 🙂

  5. Thanks for your encouragement to try math stations. I tried them…laboriously created 8 different ones. I thought it would be a good experience…but it was nothing but chaos. I clearly didn’t judge time well so some finished more quickly than others. So timing is everything (again). I’m not going to abandon the idea of stations…but I definitely need to regroup and think about them differently.
    Clearly I need help in figuring out time better. Can you say more about how you judge time? And what “training” do you give at the first of the year so students know how to “behave” and utilize the stations?

    • I’m still figuring out the time issue. Last year I had a really accelerated class and a few groups BLEW through my stations and we had 20 minutes left in class! So I told any groups that were finished that they could help other groups. The kids loved that and it was a good solution for the moment but I’m always afraid that they “help” too much. I kept those stations but made a note to add 6 more questions next year.

      This year I had one class finish early and one class only get about halfway done, on the same station! It is hard to determine. I usually put 6 problems on each station and them have them pick 3. If they finish early I have a challenge station that takes them forever or I tell them to go back and pick 2 more problems. As far as them behaving, I tell them that they have to write everything down on their station paper. My first year I had to take it up for a grade in order to keep one rowdy class on task. You could also give them bonus points on the next quiz for station completion.

      I’m so sorry that it didn’t go smoothly the first time!

      • I think doing stations is like everything else in teaching. You just have to keep trying and seeing what works.
        I do appreciate the guide that 6 problems per station could be a starting point. I am going to re-configure these so I don’t expect students to stay at one station for the whole class period. I think that will alleviate some of the problem….I just started off at the wrong place.
        I also like the idea of challenge station….esepcially since it contains choice for them.

      • For students who finish early, you might let them go on the computer and play math games or complete a review task. I have directions to websites posted on the two computers in my room and the title of the games they can play or activity to complete. They love it even when it is an online quiz.

  6. Pingback: reading around the math blogosphere! | in stillness the dancing

  7. Thank you so much, Julie! I have been greatly influenced by your fantastic ideas and tremendous enthusiasm. It has been such an eye-opener!

    Tomorrow I want to try math stations with my class. Do you share with your students the design of the stations (i.e. problems get progressively difficult as the station number increases)?

    • Usually not, especially if I group them by ability. I just tell them they need to go in order.

      I’m glad my blog has helped you!! Good luck with the stations! Let me know how it goes. 🙂

      • Until now, I have not done much differentiation in my classroom. It has been a goal of mine for a while. Figuring out how to implement differentiation has been a challenge. I am always concerned about how the students will perceive themselves when grouped by ability. Most of my 6th grade students have been together since preK, if not kindergarten! By now they have figured out who has the skills. Any thoughts?

      • Yes. I’m at a small school and have this problem as well. I used to group by ability, but then have the easiest problems start in the middle, like station 3. Then they didn’t always feel like they are at station 1. They still kind of figured it out though. This year I’m doing something new. I have them chose someone that they work at the same PACE to be their partner. It doesn’t matter if one student is at a higher level as long as they work at the se rate. This takes a few days of in class work to figure out. I first let the students chose one or two students that they work at the same pace for an in class exercise like “Add It Up”. Pretty quickly I can see who is falling behind and zooming head of their group and move kids around. Once I start doing that, other students feel comfortable saying that a group moving too fast or too slow for them. Some students won’t speak up or I don’t catch everyone in one day. This is why I usually do this is a more structured activity a couple of times before letting them run with it on a day like stations. Even on station day I encourage them to break up if a partner is going way too fast or too slow however. 🙂

  8. FYI – today during my prep I was trying to get together some stations for tomorrow and remembered this blog post. So I went to my google reader and searched stations. Came to your post (I had starred it!!!). Clicked on it and apparently my school’s filter does not like the word “pimp”! Thanks for making me chuckle at the end of a long day (and for the great idea of how to make easy stations. I’ll let you know how it goes after tomorrow!

  9. I am loving this idea. I was just speaking to a teacher the other day regarding math centres and I wasn’t sure if I can tackle it with 32 kids!!!!! Is it possible and could you give me some suggestions! PLEASE 🙂

  10. Pingback: Stations! | I Speak Math

  11. Pingback: stations are super fun | some become pearls

  12. Pingback: Proof Stations – Geometry | I Speak Math

      • I found mine (though smaller) in the $1 section at Target! Pulled them out on Friday for the first time. I put the questions in the front and the answer key in the back. Students were able to check their work as they progressed through their problems.

  13. Pingback: Math Stations | MightyMiddleSchoolMath

  14. How do you encourage kids to use the answer keys AFTER they solve the problem? I have too many students who would just simply look at the answer key after they only pretended to work for a bit. Suggestions?

    • Hi Angela, I am not the fabulous Julie, but I was inspired to write, since I like the stations too. Perhaps keep the keys closer to you so the students have to ask for them. Good Luck

  15. I love this idea! You could even save your colored paper by placing a different color in each frame, but taping directions on the outside, like you do with the problems- or use an Expo marker to quickly write out directions.

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