Math Centers to Maximize Math Minutes & Differentiate

FUN Workshop for Grades K-6

Marcy Cook, independent math consultant and author, has been sharing ideas for math centers for years with teachers throughout the USA and in international schools on the continents of Asia, Europe, Africa , and South America.  This seminar, for teachers K-6, is full of practical activities to ensure that all students are doing meaningful mathematics the entire math period. Recognizing that differentiated tasks to meet individual needs is paramount within a class of differentiated learners, Marcy shares organizational strategies to make centers work without a lot of work on the part of the teacher. Teachers need flexibility in working with small groups or individuals while the other students are engaged in activities that keep skills alive, encourage reasoning and thinking and require perseverance.

Using math centers will help you be a better teacher and Marcy gives you all of the tools you will need from planning, organizing and management tips. Every participant will receive one of Marcy's mini tile centers (a $15.00 value) so everyone can examine the component parts of a functioning math center (tracking sheet, backdrop, task cards, answer sheet) together and take back to school with you.  Teachers will go back with dozens of ideas for organizing independent task time with motivational experiences and a new confidence when dealing with the challenges of teaching math in today's classroom.

About the Speaker:

Marcy Cook master educator, author and math specialist, has presented workshops and seminars for teachers throughout the USA and in over three dozen foreign countries. Having taught two years in the International School in Thessaloniki Greece, she has provided math inservices in South America, Central America, Canada, Mexico, Asia, Africa and Europe. With a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Masters Degree from Stanford University she has taught all elementary grades, junior high, high schools and university levels. Marcy currently works as an independent math consultant training thousands of enthusiastic teachers with her active, hands-on workshops. Her experience with classroom teaching, GATE (gifted and talented education), and student teaching supervision have inspired her to create meaningful math materials (over 100 books and 190 tile task card packets) and to share her ideas with others. Marcy is a very creative and innovative presenter who brings energy and motivation to her sessions. Her active hands-on workshops leave teachers with practical ideas and strategies to take back to the classroom immediately.

Program Highlights:


  • Understand how independent task time/centers fit into your daily routine
  • See how centers can strengthen your entire math program
  • Learn how centers can reinforce and enhance math instruction for both state and common core standards
  • Hear tips for planning, organizing and managing centers with simple resources/materials
  • See samples of materials and tracking sheets that simplify center management
  • Adapt tasks to your students needs, expectations, and abilities


  • Explore various types of problems that should be part of mathematical thinking
  • See how centers are the perfect way for providing practice on skills/concepts that have been taught
  • Strengthen arithmetic skills with task card experiences
  • Utilize tiles and dominoes as tools for practicing, communicating, and extending learning
  • Realize the importance of differentiation of activities to meet the needs of individual students
  • Plan and manage centers that promote both individual and cooperative learning
  • See centers that ensure success and build confidence for reluctant learners– intervention at its best
  • Provide opportunities for kids to explore, experiment, probe and persevere
  • Ensure that reasoning is a constant in your math classroom


  • Promote experimenting and exploring with geometric shapes
  • Link geometry and numbers with meaningful tasks
  • Provide opportunities for problem solving with spatial relations
  • See simple tools of pattern blocks and tangrams for center activities
  • Expect all students to be actively engaged from the opening to the end of the math class


  • Go beyond "busy work"; have centers that are goal oriented, standards-based and fun
  • Create a rich math class environment that guarantees active involvement and success
  • See how hands on activities help students become competent and confident math thinkers
  • Maximize math time with productive math centers
  • Differentiate to meet the needs of every student

What You Will Learn:

  • Maximize math time with productive centers
  • Plan, organize and manage effective math centers in your classroom
  • Set up centers that foster higher level mathematical thinking
  • Develop math centers that meet the needs of ALL students…from at-risk to gifted
  • Provide various types of problems to students through meaningful independent task activities

Who Should Attend?

All K-6 Classroom Teachers, Resource Specialists, Curriculum Coordinators and Administrators should attend.


Substitutions may be made at any time. All cancellations received the day of the seminar or afterwards are subject to a $15 service charge.

This Seminar Includes:

Morning Coffee & Pastries
Extensive Resource Handbook
Set of Quiet Tiles

University Credit:

½ unit of credit from Humboldt State University is available for an additional charge. These credential/licensure courses offered are designed primarily for elective or professional development purposes. Clock hours may also be available – please check at the workshop. Verification of hours of participation will be provided for continuing education or recertification.