Saturday, September 22, 2012

Math Manipulatives Question and Quick Update

Wow! It has already been four weeks since our first day of school. The time has flown by so incredibly fast. My 17 kindergartners have adjusted fairly well. When we transition from one place to another and I say: "Sit down on the carpet in rows," or "Sit down on a face," or "Sit down with your heads down at your desk," I'll have many students day: "I already know!" How glorious is it to get into a routine! Things in a school, of course, will change around, but we're off to a great start! Below is our coconut tree, styled (of course) from 'Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.'

On the math subject, I have been taking a graduate class about mathematical understanding. It has been absolutely fantastic! I am so happy to be able to take this workshop for free. The stipend and $600 worth of math materials or resources is a phenomenal bonus too! Last year, I lacked a lot of math resources for my students. I made up for it with using the Smartboard with all materials you could find in a class being displayed on the screen. I still faithfully use the Smartboard in my Kindergarten class, but manipulatives have been great to have.

I have ordered about half of what I can, but also am unsure what else to get. So far, I have ordered from Nasco, it is much cheaper than many other teacher supplies sights. I have ordered pocket charts (calendar, hundreds chart, and two double-sided graphing charts), a graphing floor mat, a walk-on number line, linking cubes, tangrams, pattern blocks, transparent counters, red-yellow counters, links, 10-frame trains, color dominos, and foam solid-figures. My classroom already had wiggly worms for counters and plastic coins. I already made a bunch of foam dice from the dollar store's inch-cubes and lucked out on getting 600+ unifex cubes for $15 on Craigslist.

So, my question is, what other math manipulatives or materials would you recommend for Kindergarten or other early elementary grades?