Sunday, August 17, 2014

Math Manipulatives on a Budget

Last week I stopped by my favorite Dollar Tree store to look around for ideas for math centers.  Jackpot!  I always get stopped at the front with the seasonal items. But this time, I continued on to the less known baby aisle to pick up some baby plates for another activity.  And what did I see?  BABY LINKS!  So I thought of some math activities to go with them.  I like the small links that you get at the teacher stores, but these were different.  They are the big chunky links that provided sensory feed back too.  And just wait until you see all the different ways to use these.  They come 10 in a packet for $1.00.  I purchased five which gave me 50 big chunky links.  That's an awesome set of manipulatives for $5.00.

Now if you know me, I am big on differentiating centers so students can use similar or the same materials and work with them on their own level.  And I also work with PreK-1st grade students.  So what can you do with these manipulatives seen in the picture bellow?  Keep on reading :)





SORTING
  • Sort them by color (top-left picture).
  • Sort them by their sensory bumps and grooves (top-right picture).
  • Link them together by their attribute for great fine motor practice.
PATTERNING
  • Make a pattern by color.
  • Make a pattern by sensory bumps and grooves.

ONE-TO-ONE CORRESPONDENCE
  • Count and link to match a number card.
  • Link them together to build a number.
  • Roll a die and build the number.
  • Turn over a playing card and build the number.
MAKING COMBINATIONS
ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION


But WAIT!  I started thinking about how I could make them separate or show combinations.  I went over to the toy aisle and grabbed a couple of boomerangs.  Perfect!  I wrapped some duct tape around the middle of the boomerangs several times to make a middle sorting side.



DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOUR STUDENTS
Choose from the ideas below to match individual needs.
  • Students place total number of links on the left side.  
  • Student removes some from left side and places on right side.
  • Student says the number combination.
  • Student draws a pictorial representation of the combination.
  • Student writes a number sentence for the combination. 
WORKING WITH 5
  • Student places 5 rings on the left side.
  • Student rolls the dice.
  • If lands on 6, roll again.
  • Student removes the number of rings to match the number or dots on dice and places them on the right side.
  • Student says the number combination.
  • Student draws a pictorial representation of the combination.
  • Student writes a number sentence for the combination.


WORKING WITH 10
  • Student places 10 rings on left side.
  • Student turns over a card.
  • Student removes the number of rings to match the number on the card and places them on the right side.
  • Student says the number combination.
  • Student draws a pictorial representation of the combination.
  • Student writes a number sentence for the combination.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end.  I hope you have some new ideas for differentiating with these links.  

Thanks for stopping by!

7 comments:

  1. What a great idea...thanks for sharing! I love everything you do!

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  2. Thanks for sharing Kathy. I love the sensory component with these activities. It's amazing what we can find at the dollar store!

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    1. It is amazing isn't it! Thanks for visiting my blog :)

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  3. Great ideas! Love the boomerang and the possibilities this has for decomposing numbers!

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

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    1. Thanks Tara! Have fun with the boomerangs!

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  4. Love these ideas! Thanks for sharing.

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