Oktober 30, 2010

Manipulatives From A to Z

Quick Ideas for Grades 1-2
Math Practice

Aces Never throw away a deck of playing cards. They have dozens of math applications: counting, sorting, probablility, and card –house engineering, just to name a few.
Bolts Stock up at the hardware store. Nuts, bolts, and screws are perfect for counting, weighing, and sorting.
CDS Save the free ones you get in the mail. Trace for perfect circles, or challenge kids to create a giant, symmetrical design for your bulletin board.
Drums Play various beats and talk about rhytm, counting, and patterns. (Make your own by stretching a balloon across an oatmeal canister.)
Eye Charts Measure and count the letters. You can also measure the distances from which kids can read the different lines on the chart.
Flashlights have kids bring one from home. Then turn off the lights and play with shadows. Talk about symmetry and shape.
Google FYI, this popular search engine as also a calculator. Enter a problem (such as 5+7) into the search field and the answer pops up.
Holograms Pick Up one or two hologram postcards and use them as a starting place to talk about 2-D and 3-D
Ice Cube Trays use for sorting small objects, measuring, or counting by 2s (have kids put a bean in every other slot).
Junk Mail Try catalog math.Invite kids to calculate various purchases. Or host an engineering challenge –who can build the strongest bridge from credit card offers?
Kisses (the chocolate kind). Not for every day, but a fun valentine’s day treat. Estimate how many are in jar, or do some nutrition math.
Lunch Trays Borrow some from your cafeteria. Then use them as a surface to create simple graphs with string and counters.
Magic Eight Ball A fun way to talk about probability. How wmany possible answers are there? How many are ‘good’ answers/ how many are ‘bad?’
Notebooks Invite kids to keep math journals -a place to work out their thinking and keep track of what they find interesting and confusing.
Origami paper this stuff is bright, colorful, and cheap –and a great way to talk about 2-D and 3-D shapes, folding, and symmetry.
Phones Bring in an old cell, handheld, or even rotary phone. Put it in your math center and invite kids to practice writing and dialing phone numbers.
Q-Tips Use a cheap, disposable paintbrushes. Write math problems using invisible ink.
Race Cars Invite kids to bring in toy cars from home. See how far they can go with a gentle push. How many red cars do students own? Blue? Green?
Stamps Cut canceled ones off your mail. Sort by colour and shape, or add up how much they all cost together.
Toilet Paper Tubes You’re probably already saving these. Use them to talk cylinders or as sorting containers.
Utensils Plastic silverware, potato mashers, and other kitchen gizmos make for great pointers and fun tools for your math center.
Vegetables Sugary treats are so last century. Count tomato seeds or weigh grees beans. Edamame (soybeans) are perfect counters.
Wooden Blocks Endless opportunities here: who can built the tallest tower? How many blocks tall is the teacher? How much dose a block weigh?
X-rays Doctors and hospitals are often willing to donate old films. Count those ribs and measure that ulna!
Yarn Love those craft store teachers discounts. Use yarn as a flexible ruler. Weave on a cardboard loom and make patterns. Glue onto paper to make shapes or numbers.
Ziti Pasta shapes equal hours of math learning. Make patterned necklaces, measure and pour,or build noodle sculptures. TG

Hannah Trierweiler
Sources: Instructor, Scholastic, Jan/Feb 08,p. 57

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