Thursday, June 2, 2011

Math Mats... not for the front door

Are you linked up? Join the Debbie Diller Book Study Party:

Chapter 2: Organizing and Managing Materials
Considerations for Using Manipulatives:
Debbie offers some great tips for managing math manipulatives.
Go back and read these tips again (page 39).
Every year I feel so much pressure to stay on a pacing chart and address the state standards and I  think to myself, can I skip this step with the kids? I have learned the hard way that the answer is a big -NO.
Our students  have not been to preschool and they need the oportunity to touch manipulatives, play with them, and talk about them with each other. When I don't offer them these opportunities they  find a way to use them inappropriatly (Have you ever seen a unifix gun?) Trust me on this.
So I allow them time to explore but I am clear about my expectations and my partner and I model this over and over again. We even demonstate "math talk" we hope to hear.
2. Limit the amount of manipulatives you give students. Here is a round of applause for Debbie Diller! We should own stock in ziplock baggies because we use them 24/7. We number the buckets in our room and each child is given a baggie with his number on it and limited amounts of the manipulatives we are using. Trust me it is worth the effort to do this! Have you ever had a child drop an entire bucket of small cubes?
3.The next tip she offers is one I have figured out on my own but it is worth pointing out again and again. Give each child their own mat to work on . Oh yeah, this keeps the peace and everyone loves personal space- right? Say amen to that. So after all this intense babble I am offering my blogging BFF's some math mats and if I finish my assessments tomorrow who knows what might show up!!!

Students put their manipuatives (from their baggie) on the mat in a pattern and the star is to remind them where to start reading their pattern. What do you think?  Grab it while it's hot right here! You get two for the price of one.

Here is another mat to use when you want students to sort by color.. What could you use? I bet you can think of a million things. How about buttons, unifix cubes, counters. teddy bears, 1" cubes, etc. As the year progresses you can count how many are in each column or for more able students they could graph these quantities. Hey, this might be differentiation.
Differentiation Rocks!  Try clicking here for this mat
Good night friends.


Amanda Myers said...

These are fabulous Fran. Love them. Thanks so much.


Deedee Wills said...

These are wonderful Fran!

Your Unifix gun is sOoOo true!! I am with you. Sometimes I am tempted to move ahead. Thank you fro reminding me why we need to give them time to explore the manipulatives.

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Allison said...

Thank you for sharing! I love these!

A Teacher's Touch said...

I am so glad I found your wonderful blog! You have fabulous ideas. Like you, I like everything to match, so every time I visit WalMart or Target this summer I will pick up a couple of bins. I want to do the same for literacy work stations. Linda

Mrs. Barton's First Grade said...

The pattern and sorting mats are awesome - thank you so much for creating and sharing these!

Kari said...

Thank you for these math mats Fran!! They are amazing! I plan to get a class set copied and laminated in the next two weeks before I am locked out of school for the summer. That way they will be ready for next year! :)

Mrs. Rooney's Room said...

Thanks so much for sharing your awesome ideas and creations! It is very appreciated:)

Kristin Young said...

I love these Fran! So simple...but so genius! :) Since I'm still in school I'm hoping to get some printed, laminated and stored away so I can be surprised by the all over again in the fall when I pull out my math manips! ;)

Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten

Mrs. Daniels First Grade said...

Fran thank you so much! I finally was able to catch up on reading this weekend since our last day for teachers is tomorrow. I simply love this book and I am so grateful for the materials you made and shared. Thanks!
Tammy Daniels

gbinge1 said...

Thanks Fran for soo many great ideas. I plan on using them next year. Your a big help!!!!! gail

Claire said...

Just amazing how generous you and all the other great teachers are. I don't know how you get done what you do. You are definitely blessed with a talent.