Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More Quick and Fun Math Practice For Little Kids

Last week, I started describing how I have been making busy bags to use in the classroom in conjunction with my math browse boxes to keep kids busy and learning in the classroom, at home or on the road.

 You can check out last week's post about number sticks and read more about math busy bags and browse boxes here!
This week, I want to show you another simple to make but effective way to keep kids busy and practicing math!

Materials List
-Felt sheets: I used a full blue one as well as about 1/5 of a sheet of yellow, green and orange and a few scraps of a black sheet.
-Wiggle eyes: I included some round and some oval shaped ones.  The sky is the limit here!  They have all kinds of wiggle eyes available these days.  I picked up a multi-pack with a lot of varieties for various projects.
-Permanent Marker
-Scissors
-Small scrap of cardstock or cardboard
-Small circular object

I simply traced the bottom of a round yogurt cut onto a scrap piece of cardstock.  Then I cut this out and used it as a pattern for cutting out the felt.  When I had 12 circles, I wrote the numbers 1-12 on them.  The kid I was making this for has been working on ordering numbers up to 10 and was ready for a bit of a stretch.  You could also put other numbers here.  I will be making another set for some first graders who need practice pulling through decades.  This one might only contain 8 circles and have the numbers from 57-64.  If I was making one of these for second graders, it might contain numbers that pull through a century such as 297-306.  If I wanted to make one for a third grader, I might use skip counting numbers to work on multiplication.

I have tried this out on a few kids and here is what I have discovered.

 When given to a 5 year old, her first instinct was to line up the numbers in sequential order.
 Another 5 year old put the numbers in order around the perimeter and used the black pieces and eyes to make a design in the middle.

 Another kid put them in order in a long line and then made a worm out of them.

 The entire task fits in a quart size Ziploc bag and is ready to be added to a browse box or taken out when a student needs an activity to keep them busy and learning.

After sitting with kids and showing them how to put the numbers in order and make a caterpillar, they were very successful.  Without instruction, they did tend to focus on the numbers and putting them in order and that is the main goal for this activity anyway!

I will be sharing more ideas for busy bags and browse boxes for a variety of grades in the coming weeks so stay tuned! The easiest way to get updates is to like me on Facebook!

1 comment:

1. I think I remember something like this from my childhood!
~Lucy
Kids Math Teacher