Saturday, July 30, 2011

Math Tools

The Rekenrek
You can purchase the Rekenrek or make your own.
3 reasons to make your own:
1. They don't make noise when you use them.
2. They are flat and easy to store.
3. It's less expensive.
 I used wood from Home Depot, my husband drilled some holes
and the string is a shoelace tied in back.

Click HERE for Rekenrek activities.

Here is a counting rope, very cool as well:


This is a math spinner I got from the mailbox. The students love to use it for addition and subtraction. If they are trying to solve the problem 5 + 7 = , all they have to do is start the arrow on 5 and then move the arrow toward the plus sign 7 spaces and they get the answer. For subtraction they move the arrow toward the minus sign. This is a great tool for mixed practice. Get this awesome manipulative and other super fun first grade activities from:
Click HERE for a direct link.
This is called a Brain Tower. You can use it for a number of activities. You play just like Jenga but you can erase the pieces for math problems, sight words, etc. The students LOVE this game.

Click HERE to get your own from my friend at Kids Cog Works.

Dice Dice and more Dice!!!
Click HERE to go to eai education and
get any kind of die you need.

LEGO's as a Math Tool:

Introduce LEGO'S as a learning tool:
The teacher introduces two LEGO pieces, a brick and a beam. The teacher holds up a beam (such as a one by eight-1x8) Talk about the piece with probing questions...
What can you tell me about this?
The bumps are called stud.
The piece is called a beam.
This piece is called a one by eight.
Why do you think it’s called that?

Next introduce a brick (such as a two by four- 2x4).
Compare the two LEGO pieces.
Can you tell be what the differences are?
Why do you think this piece is called a two by four?

Discuss with the children how LEGO pieces are measured. The number of rows times the number of studs measures the pieces. The students can then sort the LEGO pieces by beam and brick. Have the students figure out other ways to sort LEGOS.

Hide a LEGO:
In partners have one student close his/her eyes while the other student chooses a LEGO. The student who has the LEGO hides it behind their back and gives clues to help the other student figure out what kind of LEGO it is and the color. The students take turns choosing a LEGO. This helps the students to become familiar with the LEGOS so they can play the next game...

Design a LEGO:
Have two students sit back to back. Have one student build a design with a certain number of LEGOS. When that student is finished they have to try and explain to the other student how to make their design without showing them. The student has to describe each piece and where to put it. Such as take a red 2x4 and put it at the top of the yellow 1x8 beam, etc. When that student is all finished describing their design they compare designs to see if they are the same. The more LEGO pieces they use the more challenging it is.