Skip to main content

Inexpensive Math Tool

Big Buddy has moved on to three-digit numbers in his math book and it was suggested to get a Base-10 set. We debated purchasing one for awhile; having hands-on math counters has really helped Big Buddy, and our other children, grasp math facts. We have some unifix cubes, an abacus, and we have made our own montessori bead bars and 100 board tiles. The idea of spending almost $30 on another somewhat bulky math counter didn't seem like the wisest decision. I knew, however, that having counters would make learning how to add and subtract three digit numbers a lot more straightforward for Big Buddy. I debated making some more montessori number beads (see ours here) when I ran across our colored matchsticks. We have used them for counting and building shapes before (as well as some crafts) and we still had plenty left make some 100 counters - at no cost!

We grouped sets of tens together and secured them with some small rubber bands (from Dollar Tree). Once we had made ten sets of ten, we then group them together to make 100's. It's a bit time consuming to build all the sets but since it's pretty mindless work we did it while watching television.

our matchsticks are from discount school supply, but they are a little cheaper if you buy them from oriental trading.

This is what our current set looks like. We decided not to make a 1000 unit since all the hundreds can easily be grouped together. We still have several craft sticks left that we will use to make more 100  or 10 sets if needed. 


One thing that I really like about these as math counters is that they take up very little space - they all fit into a quart size baggie. 


I mentioned before that we've also used these matchsticks to build shapes. If interested I've made the printable available here


If you are looking for more homeschool or craft ideas please check our homeschool page

Lots more great kid friendly ideas can also be found at these link parties: Link and LearnWeekly Kid Co-opMontessori MondayHip Homeschool HopPreschool CornerFor the Kids Fridays, and Show and Share Saturday. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Preschool Syllabus: Dr. Seuss

Normally I'd do a Dr. Seuss unit in March around his birthday. We had to do one now though because on Saturday Big Buddy and I going on a date to a Dr. Seuss exhibit. The exhibit is only at the museum until January and I'm afraid if we don't go now we might not get the chance.

We are of course reading lots of Dr. Seuss's books. A great advatage to studying Dr. Seuss in November rather than March is that all his books were available at the library. I also found a great children's biography which is perfect for preschoolers.


 We've read it a couple times and Big Buddy loves reciting all the facts he's learned


WRITING CENTER ADDITIONS


LEARNING "TRAYS" -I rotate these, setting out about four a day from which the boy's can choose.





Paint Chip Word Families

We haven't been doing a ton of school work this summer but we have tried to fit in a little reading practice everyday. We are currently working our way through Bob Books and The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading - I  highly recommend both. I saw this idea for paint chip word families on Pinterest several months ago and knew it would be one we'd have to try. I changed it up a little bit so that the the strips pulled through the word family cards.  

My supplies: large white paint chips, various colors of paint chips, sharpie, scissors, and an x-acto knife
 Step 1: Because my colored paint chips were so wide I folded and cut them in half.

Step 2: In the center of the white paint-chip, use the x-acto knife to cut two openings, at the top and bottom of the white square, the width of the color strip. 

Step 3: Use the sharpie to write letters on paint chips (a list of word families can be found here
Step 4: Pull strip through word family card 

 Step 5: Have fun readi…

A Knightly Affair

This past Saturday we had a joint birthday celebration for Big Buddy (6) and Mini Man (4). They have both been intrigued with knights and dragons for a while now so that's the theme we chose. 

Papa and Maca Lindsey were gracious enough to let us host the party in their backyard/secret garden, it was the perfect setting. 

In leu of traditional party favors, we outfitted the party guests with a sword, surcoat, and shield. Everyone's surcoat and shield was emblazoned with their sigil/initial.





The shields were also our party craft. They are cardboard which Jeremy cut with a laser cutter. I then hot glued and taped (double reinforcement!) ribbon on the back for handles. The kids used dot markers to decorate the shields. This worked out really well because the cardboard absorbs the ink so fast that drying is almost instantaneous.


In addition to the shields we also had a few other themed activities: a dragon catapult, sand castle building, a row of balloons for sword practice, and t…