Inspiration for Education


Leave a comment

Make and Take Monday – Place Value Manipulatives

 

Place value is one of those subjects that I always think will be easy, but turns out to be really hard for some kids to master.  Using hands-on manipulatives is definitely the way to go, but the problem is I never have enough.  Actually … I take that back, I always have plenty of tens and ones, but only a few hundreds and if I’m lucky I might have 1 of those big plastic thousands blocks.

A few years ago  I found a great, and cheap, solution.  I made my own durable manipulatives.  I took plastic canvas, the kind used for needlepoint as seen here at Joann’s, and cut it into ones, tens and hundreds pieces. You want to get the canvas that has the biggest holes you can find, to make the manipulatives easier to manage.

photo 2

If you count the holes in each piece it matches the number it represents, the ones have one hole, the tens have 10 holes and so on.  What I love about these pieces is that  not only do I have enough for every kid in the class to make the number 999, they are small enough to fit on my place value boards and they don’t take a lot of storage space. I keep my tens and hundreds in ziploc storage tubs and the ones I keep in ketchup cups.

photo 1

When teaching thousands I take 10 of the hundreds pieces and tie them together with string.  Though now that I teach Expressions Math and they talk about a thousand looking like a long rectangle, I might go back and make some long thousands rectangles out of plastic canvas. Another project to add to my summer to do list!  😉

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Make and Take Monday – Reading Trackers

So I decided to dedicate Mondays to things you can make yourself to help in your classroom.  We’re all on tight budgets right?  And we all work to find ways to make the most of the resources we have.  And I ALWAYS love when I find good ideas on line that I can easily make for my own classroom.  So my first make and take project is a reading tracker.  I’ve seen lots of things used over the years for kids who need a little extra help tracking the words as they are reading.  The easiest is of course a piece of paper that they hold along each row of words like the picture below.

photo 2

 

But a few years ago I ran across this great idea and I’ve never looked back.  I don’t know about you, but our school has boxes of old transparency plastic that no one has any use for anymore.  (Let’s all take a moment and bow our heads in respect to the overhead projector.) So what I did was took some of that transparency plastic (laminating plastic would work for this too) and cut it into strips about the width of the pages in our reader.  I made them about 3 inches long.  Then I took a sharpie and drew a line along the top edge of the plastic. And that’s it!

photo 1

What I love about these trackers is that they don’t cover up the words that are coming below.  They help the students develop more natural eye movements as they move from one line to the next, while still helping them to keep track of where they are.  My kids love to use them and always remind me when I forget to pull them out.