Math tips for all ages

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Making math engaging is one of my favorite things to do in the classroom.  If you were to ask me what I'm best at - I would for sure say guided reading and phonics.  However, teaching math and making it very hands on is one of my favorite things to do during my school day.  Making math come alive is so exciting and I love to see them grow their confidence.  

engaging math tips

I get so excited when I see my students 'get it' and work through things especially if they are using manipulatives or centers I have made for them.  

Here are some everyday dollar tree items that you can turn into math centers that won't break the bank.

99 ¢ flip flop plate = number bond fun!  Just add some pom poms and you are all set for some part/part/whole equations to work though.

Did you know you could use a bubble blower wand for math?  The petals make the perfect repeated addition problems to reinforce multiplications skills.  

engaging math tips

Another tip - Play doh... you can use it in like 1,000 ways!  Here I used a cookie cutter for numbers and then added dot touch points for math.  They can create equations, add the dot touch points into the play doh and use that strategy to add.  
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Typically I only add the touch points to the smaller number and have them use the strategy of counting on to help them.  So they would say 5 and use the 3 touch points to count on.  That has been what's worked best for my students in the past.  

This is great for the little guys still struggling with one to one correspondence.  They will also be working on fine motor skills at the same time...what?!?!?!  How great is that!??!  They will pull a number from a bag and then use the tweezers to count out that many small pom poms to put on the egg die cuts.  

spring math centers

Kids don't need much to get excited...thank goodness!  These 99 ¢ carrot eggs are the perfect hands on manipulative to bring your centers alive and keep your students motivated.  You can work on basic counting skills OR addition skills.  This center is SUPER EASY to differentiate.  I found the small carrots at Michaels and added tiny pom poms for the addition one.  

math hacks

I found these plastic paint pallets at Hobby Lobby in the party section for a couple bucks and knew I could do something creative with them.  They are also perfect for repeated addition if you are introducing multiplication.  I added sixlets to them but you can also use tiny pom poms as well.  
As you can see the possibilities are endless when it comes to math and engagement.  Dollar Tree, Target Dollar Spot , Big Lots, Hobby Lobby and Michaels are your besties when it comes to this.  
Think outside the box and be creative when it comes to getting your students to work on skills that you are wanting to reinforce.  There are tons of options out there to help you!
You can find me on instagram and facebook for more fun ideas, just click the symbols at the top of my blog to visit my social media.
I hope these ideas inspire you to create some fun hands on activities for your students.  As always ~ happy teaching!


Counting coins

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Pennies, nickels, and dimes oh my!  Oh and quarters, don't forget about those big ones.  I love teaching money, years ago it was a first grade standard and I had so much fun with it.  

First let's start with some great intro videos that I love using and keep my kids engaged.  
Here's a list of good ones you can try in your room.

I love these videos for lessons, this #1 guy is the best!

Fun, catchy songs are helpful too for recognition and remembering worth.

Hairy money has been around for a while and it's not my idea but if your group of kids needs a new approach this can certainly help you out.  Each strand that stands up counts as 5 - so a quarter would have 5 hair strands and it would equal 25 as they point to each hair and count by 5's.  The dime has 2 hairs to represent 2 groups of 5, the nickel gets one hair and the penny gets a dot or freckle.  This shows that you have to count by 1's for him. Most of your students can count by 5's so it's a great approach if they are struggling with the concept of money.

Hairy money is another way your students might learn - it's kind of like the touch point idea in math.  It's just another strategy that can be taught along with skip counting and finding the biggest coin to start with when counting several.

My students LOVE my coin tin center that helps them practice counting out piles of money.  This reinforces looking for the largest amount or worth first also which is super important.
I actually made this center before the Pinterest days guys.  Yep, back in 2007.  My students loved it, I bought the Altoid tins on line on ebay and decorated them and then grabbed some magnetic coins from lakeshore but you can probably buy them on Amazon now, I mean you can buy anything on Amazon - hello - 2 day shipping and thank you amazon prime.  

Here's how they look, you can use them for a math block/centers.  The kids take a coin card place it at the top of the altoid tin and then create that amount in the bottom of the tin with the magnetic coins.  It's easy to check as I walk around or you can encourage peer checking as well.  The coins stick perfectly to the altoid tins so it's fun to use and easy to keep all together.

tips for teaching money and coins

Won't fall out ~ they put the money on the bottom and the amount slips on the top ( lid ).

tips for teaching money and coins

tips for teaching money and coins

Hope you gained some new ideas that you can use right away for teaching money with your students.  As always ~ Happy teaching my friends~