It still tickles me to no end to see how my kiddos play with each of the new math tools at the beginning of the year. They are always so creative with their free explore! Mariah Bruehl is all about breaking down a child's learning by levels. I completely agreed with her in this chapter. Throughout the stages they move from concrete thinkers (1:1 correspondence, shape sorting, etc.) to abstract thinkers (addition, subtraction, comparing numerals, etc.).
Math tools are a H-U-G-E part of children learning to move from concrete to abstract. So... since I love to see in other's rooms, I thought you might like to see into a corner of mine!
Now, since these are in use almost every day of the school year, it's not nearly as neat as it is at the beginning of the day. Now there are several things that I pointed out that we use ALL the time! The labels definitely help students but I can't claim credit since the teacher before me did ALL the labeling of math tools! Our math tubs are amazing! We use the Debbie Diller: Math Work Stations as a jumping pad for putting these into practice last year. So great!
I love using the blue and yellow box items. Those boxes contain everyday items that kids may or may not get to be allowed to touch: house keys, nuts and bolts, sea shells, etc. They are great for sorting textures, materials, counting, etc... the list doesn't stop! There is a huge spot on my shelf for activity mats... they are pretty impressive looking items... just not something that I use a lot of. The other teacher seemed to use them a TON.... me? Not so much. I need to be better about math small groups next year and can use them then. I tend to leave some items presorted for specific games and activities.
How about a freebie? I have shared about my great math unit that aligned with The Very Hungry Caterpillar:
To give you a sneak peek, click below and grab a free measurement activity!
Make sure to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing for a spot in Mariah's ecourse for you and one for a friend!