Every day I think about HOW I am going to reach all my learners in the upcoming year with the limitation mounting. Then, add to it that at any moment we could move from traditional to virtual school… again. Are you stressed about all this too?!
My stress relieving solution hit me… a math tool kit that includes paper and digital options.Introducing a solution to your problems and mine… Math Tools: Paper & Digital Learning Tools.
What is Math Tools?
Math tools are all the things you can put together to make math flow in your classroom. You can check out what the outside of my kit looks like here.
One of the goal for this math kit is to make one per student to reduce the risk of spreading germs. If each student has their own manipulatives collection, you can start and stop math easy without passing out or collecting materials.
One of the supplies we ask for is a pencil box, so I decided to use this pencil box to hold our math tools. The best news is… you can really use whatever you have on hand or have asked for on a supply list for to be the container.
What Goes in Each Kit?
Budgets are tight, and every classroom should use the supplies they have already in their classrooms to put in these bins. This means that everyone’s classroom bin will look different and that is okay! You know what you have on hand and what you have enough of to hand out to students.
In my bins, I am using
- 10 snap cubes, 5 of each color
- 10 two sided counters (if you have the real ones over foam, that may be better right now)
- 20 erasers, 10 of a kind (Target dollar spot)
- base ten blocks
- dry erase marker
- simple eraser (These are from the dollar store.)
I would love to add a few other pieces if I can get enough to make class sets.
Other Math Tools for Students
Now that we have distributed math materials to bins, I got to thinking about what else students would need for a successful math year that I could premeditated to set students up for success.
Students NEED a few more math tools to set them up for success. And what if we can make these tools fit in the kit with the manipulatives? (Storage is going to be a huge issue this year.)
Keeping All Our Math Tools Together
I made a list of all the math mats I typically would use in my classroom in small groups. Ten frames, number lines, sorting blocks. Making a smaller version of these makes sense. Right?
My favorite aspect of the pencil box is how you can flip the lid up and use that as the stand for the collection of small math mats, or math tools. Less space and no waste.
Peek at the Tools
As a veteran Kindergarten teacher, I know my students are going to enter Kindergarten with little to no math sense. Therefore, I created many versions of these math tools to grow with our learners. They are numbered for ease… but what about those who don’t know their numbers? I color coded these tools as well. You can grab these math tools here.
Check out these ten frames. Each one is different and therefore has a different number on it. BUT their border color is also different. You can ask students to flip to number 2 or the orange ten frame. Easy.
I plan to copy these and then laminate them. Add a whole punch and a binder ring and now learners can use that dry erase marker to use the math math tool! They can use those fun mini erasers too, or another math manipulative as well.
Here is another view of some of the math mats and the numbering and coloring system.
Because these tools will grow with your learner, you can differentiate with ease. One student may need the yellow (25) number path while another work with orange (26) with numbers to 20.
Use the Lid
One of my plans is to use the LID of the pencil box as the place for our math tools. We can play to learn in that area.
Teacher Tools to Match
What about teacher led small groups? In this kit you have a matching set of teaching tools! They are identical but BIGGER. You can laminate and use a binder ring to keep them together. You could also place in page protectors inside a binder and flip to what page you will using. Grab all these printables here.
Check Out These Tools
Here is an example of the teacher mat and student math tools. Since you download this file, you can also PROJECT the teacher pages if you have a smart board!
And here is another example.
Digital Files Included!
If the Spring has taught us anything, it is to be prepared to go digital at any time. Don’t worry, I have you covered. With this Math Tools Paper and Digital Learning Tools, you get DIGITAL files as well, in the form of images, that you can upload instantly to your secured students learning platform.
I did not load these images into any learning platform like Seesaw so you can use exactly how YOU want and need to use them with your students.
Printing Tips & Peek at Digital Files
First, this video will show you all the files you will get. Then, I recorded a few printing tips to save you paper. Finally, you will see how to use the clickable table of contents included in the teacher file.