Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dollar Store Math Center

Games! Math Centers! Games!  I love to go to the Dollar Tree and walk the aisles looking for bargains and activities for my students.  Who doesn't love to make a math center for just $1.00?  This post is part of the BRIGHT IDEAS LINK UP. 

 If a picture is worth 1000 words, then this 3 minute video will help explain how to play it even more.  I differentiated this activity to use with PreK to 3rd grade students.  Just think of all the possibilities for playing this game!

Materials needed:
  • Plastic sorting tray (Dollar Tree)
  • Dice

Let's recap what all can be done with this tray again.  
  • Recognizing numbers
  • Counting all
  • Counting on
  • Adding 2 numbers
  • Adding 4 numbers
  • Adding multiple numbers
  • Subtracting
  • Comparing numbers
  • Working with place value
  • Multiplying 2 numbers
  • Multiplying more than 2 numbers
  • Student bounces a blank die.  
    • Builds the number using manipulatives.
    • Makes the number out of play dough or wiki stick.
    • Writes the number.
  • Student uses a blank die.  
    • Bounces it into a compartment.  
    • Counts up to 10.  
    • Counts up to 20.
  • Student uses a blank die.  
    • Bounces it into a compartment.  
    • Records the next 3 numbers.
    • For example, the die lands on the 4.  
    • The student records 4 then writes 5, 6, 7
    • Student can also record 4 and go backwards.  4, 3, 2, 1
  • Student bounces one die.  
    • Compares the two numbers.  5 > 2
  • Student bounces one die.  
    • Adds the two numbers.  
    • Records the number sentence and then writes the fact family. 
  • Student bounces one die.  
    • Adds the two numbers.  
    • Determines if it is an odd or even number.
    • Student draws a representation of it in a math notebook.
  • Student bounces one die.  
    • Uses the number from the compartment and the number from the die to make the largest number. 
    • Records the number in a math notebook then builds it with base ten blocks.  
    • Student then draws a representation of the number too.
  • Student bounces a blank die into 3 different compartments. 
    • Records the numbers.
    • Puts them together to make the largest number.
    • Writes the expanded notation.

  • For Younger Students, draw shapes in the compartments.  
    • Student uses a blank foam die to bounce. 
    • Student names the shape.  
    • Student builds the shape out of pipe cleaners, play dough, or wiki stik.
    • Student draws the shape.
  • As a Literacy Center
    • Program the compartment with word families. 
    • Write consonants on foam dice.
    • Bounce and blend.
    • Is it a real word?
    • Is it a nonsense word? 
Have you thought of another way to use this after reading my blog and watching the short video clip?  Leave your ideas in the comments section for others to read at the end of the link up. Collaborating is so much FUN!

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  1. Great ideas Kathy!!! It's so hard to find ways to switch things up sometimes but the kids really need it!
    Thanks for making it that much easier!

    Jennifer from
    Simply Kinder

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog Jennifer! Have fun playing the dice game.

  2. I love Dollar Tree items. Thanks for the great ideas.

    Mandy from
    A Special Kind of Class

    1. I LOVE the Dollar Tree too. But I never just spend $1.00 :) Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. Seriously Kathy? This is BEYOND brilliant!!!
    You rock my friend,
    The Write Stuff Teaching

  4. This is great! It's so versatile. The kids could even think of some interesting ways to use it as well!

    1. Absolutely! Our students are so creative. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  5. As I can see this is very interesting and developing game. I hope it really helps students. For some elder students I can recommend the other way of learning to deal with money. They may take cash advances without paperwork and try to distribute the money for their needs. They will need to calculate their budget and think about how to pay it back. I think it's the most easy from all real opportunities, because it is a short-term loan and doesn't demand the credit history.

  6. This is great, I teach special education and we will use this as a small group activity my assistant can do with the kiddos or I can use it as a math center. So simple yet brilliant!

  7. This is AWESOME! I teach first grade and this is an easy math center to put together. Thanks for sharing! :-)

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog! Your first graders will love this game.

  8. I didn't see the 3 minute video posted. Can you send it to me Thank you. Live your ideas. Deb

    1. If you are viewing from a smart phone or mobile device maybe it is not showing. Here is the direct link to the You Tube video.

      Thanks for visiting my blog.

  9. I placed a quarter and one section, a dime in another section, a nickel etc. Then I put a stack of coins in the middle section, and the children would sort the coins to match what was in each section.

  10. You could also use your dice idea and bounce the dice and if it landed in the quarter section on the number 3, the student would take 3 quarters out and count the money. To make it a little harder, you could use two dice and they would throw the dice and it might land on the nickel with the number two on the dice and they could count the three quarters and the two nickels to get their total.