Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Math Manipulatives

Hands-on manipulatives are wonderful tools to help children understand math concepts. You can buy them at educational stores OR you can make your own free ones! Here are some ideas:
  • Snowball math: use small, round cotton balls to make math facts sentences such as 2 snowballs + 3 snowballs = ? snowballs.
  • Use pipe cleaners to teach geometry such as learning about triangles, squares, hexagons, etc.
  • Use edible items as counting tools and in math fact sentences and then have a snack! Examples: M&Ms, gummy bears, carrot sticks, grapes, animal crackers and cereal.
  • Non-edible items such as buttons, macaroni, and beans can also be used for counting.
  • Use real money for teaching money concepts! If you don't  like that idea, use the money from Monopoly or other games.
  • Use lunch for math class: Cook a pizza and teach fractions!
  • Have your children bake a cake to learn measurements such as cups and teaspoons.
  • Dominoes are a great way to teach counting, too.
  • Using card stock, make several Bingo cards with little clock faces in each block that show different times such as 1:00, 3:30, and 6:45. Use this and some bean markers to teach telling time.
  • Use a ruler and items in your home or classroom to teach measurements. Just measure every thing you can measure!
  • See my Web page for more Math Freebie ideas.

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