At the beginning of every year in my classroom, well usually ALL year, I have students that are working one to one correspondence, identifying numbers and counting to 10. For my students that take a lot of practice to get this skill, doing the same counting activities over and over again can cause them to become burnt out on the idea of learning to count before they even master the skill.
To keep things fun and engaging during our Math Rotations, I like to use a variety of different manipulatives. This year, I got a ton of stuff to use at my station during math, and it kept my students eager to come back to me everyday (hellllllo reinforcement).
My all time favorite supplies to use during math are dice and multicolored counters. I got the ones included in this post from Oriental Trading. Did y’all know they had school stuff?!
Students rarely do worksheets when they come to my station of our math rotations. I want them moving, engaged, and having fun, because that’s when they LEARN! Of course, I have them practice their skills again independently at other stations through fun file folder activities, independent workbooks, and cut and paste activities, but when they are with me, WE HAVE FUN with math! Of course, all the other stations are still fun, too!
I love using math mats and number dice during instruction. I can gear them towards my students’ high interests to keep them motivated to work, and then I let them earn free time with the “toys,” or math manipulatives. Below are a few favorites of ours – you can grab them for free at the end of the post!
To start off, I use dice for literally every activity we do. Not only can I use the dice for my young babes still learning to count, but I can use them for my older kiddos that are working on place value, addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, money, time… AH SO MANY SKILLS.
You guys… they honestly make every possible kind of dice on Oriental Trading’s site. I have regular dice, number dice, number word dice, number sense dice… BIG DICE, little dice, and the list goes on and on (#diceobsessed)
Please note: While I did receive these item at no cost, all opinions in this post are 100% my own.
Back to the counting mats… here are a few of my favorites (and they are free downloads -woop woop!)
Download the printable below and grab those rubies from here.
My students are seriously obsessed with using the gems.
They will do anything I ask to get to play with these guys. (PS – they make amazing sensory bins for shapes, colors, or just like… fun).
Download the printable below and grab the raceway erasers from here
This one is definitely a win for all my boys. I like that I can sneak in some math stories when doing this mat with students (i.e. There are 2 red cars and 3 blue cards on the race track. How many cars are there altogether?).
Download the printable below and grab the google eyes for super cheap here.
I mean, even I’m obsessed with google eyes. My students go nuts when they roll a higher number and the monster’s face is covered with eye balls!
As with any of these mats, if you have more than one kiddo at a group or even if you are working one on one with a student, prep two copies of the mats and play war! It’s a perfect way to introduce more/less concepts!
Download the printable below and grab the colorful stacking chips from Oriental Trading here.
This one is definitely my personal favorite. I’m obviously obsessed with rainbow colors, so the fact that I can use rainbow colored chips just makes me the happiest.
This is another one that I like to sneak in some basic addition/subtraction.
Side note: These stacking chips from Oriental Trading came in a box of something crazy, like 500 maybe, and could be used for so many different activities. For my more advanced students, I have been having them stack them into tens and doing place value practice.
Click on the image above to grab your free MATH MATS! Be sure to tag me @teachingspecialthinkers to share how you use them!