EXPLORATION: This is an important classroom management tip that should be taught in undergrad. Students need time to explore, use, play, and make discoveries with the manipulatives before they use them with a lesson.
Are you planning a measurement unit in the near future? Get out the rulers, measuring tape, or other tools that you will use during the unit now. Add these to your Friday fun day choices or let your students use them during inside recess. Instead of making a helicopter with a pencil and a ruler, your students will be more attentive during your measurement lesson - if they have had time to explore before the lesson.
Conversations at this center are interesting. Some students will pretend to be a fashion designer, others will organize the materials by patterns or colors, and others will pretend to be a store owner. You will see collaboration and hear conversations about math. Students are making connections about what type of jobs or careers would use this type of math while practicing math skills.
Students can practice non-standard units of measurement and make the connection that 12 inches equals a foot with these foam feet. The foam feet are from Dollar Tree.
Measure Me Centers: Seasonal & Literacy themesPractice, practice, and more practice is needed when students learn to measure. It is helpful if there is a line showing students where to measure when they learn how to use a ruler. Once your students become proficient at measuring, give them pictures without a line.
- I used the color of the lid to organize my groups. Different teams used different colored treasure boxes each day.
- It is helpful to have defined workspace if your students use the treasure boxes in a small area like their table. You can use a small piece of felt or shelf liner (see picture below). I found the shelf liner at Dollar Tree. Each roll has 60 inches. I got six workspaces out of one roll (10 inches).
- Train your students to put the lid under the box, next to the workspace.
You can add anything to the boxes that you like. Send home a note to parents and ask for their help in organizing your treasure boxes. Ask for a variety of materials like:
- Pinto beans
- Lids from juice or milk
- Popsicle sticks
Black History Month unit, you know that Dr. George Grant invented the golf tee. Add golf tees to one of your treasure boxes. Students can make patterns, shapes, or spell words with golf tees.
Q-tips can be used to make Roman numerals, make shapes, or letters. I have had good success asking and getting parents to donate household supplies like Q-tips.
What workshop or professional development has made a long lasting impact on your instruction?
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