Monday, August 18, 2014

Math Monday - Where are your math manipulatives?

Welcome and thanks for stopping by for Math Monday!

We spend hours organizing our classrooms in hopes of creating a warm, inviting, and functional space for students to learn, grow, and live in.  We make hundreds of decisions about where to place furniture, books, technology, resources, and what to display on the walls.  However, how much time do you spend making decisions about your math manipulatives?  Do your math manipulatives have equal weight with your classroom library?  I want math manipulatives to look like my classroom library!  You might be asking, how does one achieve that?

- Math manipulatives are stored together in one general area.

- Math manipulatives are carefully selected to match the curriculum.

- Each math manipulative has it's own clear tub container, for easy viewing.

- The lid is off the tub for students to see what is inside, making it an invitation to use the math manipulative. 

- Tubs are clearly labeled with a picture and label.

- Sometimes the shelves are labeled with a matching tub so they can go back to the same spot.

- Manipulatives are organized by math content sometimes.  For example, geometry manipulatives would all be on the same shelf or two.

I have found organizing my math manipulatives in a similar fashion as my classroom library creates an invitation asking students to come work with them and provides choices for problem solving.   This also fosters independence for selecting and using the different math manipulatives in our classroom.  You do have to get creative with finding the space.  Lucky for me, I have built in shelves below our windows and my "resources/textbooks" all fit in a small closet.  I want my students to think of math as a bright and cheery, hands on experience, and I have found this organization to work quite well.


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