Thursday, November 6, 2014

Using Manipulitives & Other Teaching Tools

Using math manipulitives to aid in teaching numbers and number values can help you teach in a creative and interactive way.  Today I want to share how I teach Number 5 in detail using  one of my favorite manipulitives...pattern blocks.

A child is first introduced to Number 5 in the Number Neighborhood flip chart.  In the story we hear about Number 5's grandpa showing him how to gather honey from the beehive.  After sharing the story and learning the corresponding 'action' I then use the Number Neighborhood Activity to enhance the child's learning.  

In the early stages of discovery, educators and teachers should use manipulatives to teach math concepts in a engaging hands-on way.  For example, in number 5's activity I provide you with a beehive template where the child can practice counting as they cover each bee with wooden pattern blocks or other marker.  

This activity also helps you explore number 5 with a finger play.   I am a firm believer in using finger plays while teaching the early learner.

Finger plays are a FANTASTIC way to introduce children to new words and increase their vocabulary.  They help children connect vocabulary to words they hear in stories and in every day conversation.  They also help children learn sentence structure and practice speaking in complete sentences. 

In my number 5 activity the finger play does a few things...

It Teaches:
1.  Counting
2.  Subtraction
3.  Number Order

When we use rhymes with poems or finger plays we also teach the child how to follow directions in a fun way.  I have mentioned a number 5 finger play HERE in a prior blog post.  Today I wanted to share my little poem that helps children follow directions as we get all the bees in the beehive.

Five little bees
buzzing in a hive.
It was time to make honey,
so one flew inside...

We continue saying this little poem counting backward until ALL the bees are safely covered inside.

NOW, I saved the best for last...The way we make the bees in the activity uses the child's fine motor skills and creative juices! Your child will love making their little beehive and using their thumbprint as the bee!  {Don't worry, all the details are right here in Number 5's Activity instructions}

Some of my ALL TIME favorite teaching math manipulatives for hands-on learning are:

FOOD: Pretzels, Cereal, Marshmallows.  Make snack time fun!  

{pic via Playdough to Plato}

LINKING CUBES: Great for adding or subtraction or length or mass or building or...It's just a MUST have in the classroom!

BUTTONS:  Sorting, pattering, adding, playing...all that fun stuff!

 {pic via Hands On As We Grow}

What are some ways you use math manipulitives to teach your little ones?  Do share!

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