This past summer I learned about new math manipulative - place value disks.
The ETA - Hands 2 Mind website offers this description.
"Place value chips (disks) are non-proportional models that can be used once students have a solid understanding of our place value system. Colored chips with values imprinted on them allow students to develop strategies based on properties, reinforce traditional algorithms, and build understanding of the meanings of mathematical operations and other topics such as rounding to the nearest."
We wanted to order some as a grade level. As I began looking at various vendors, I soon realized to order the recommended amount for five sections of second grade we needed to spend between $450.00 and $500.00. Yikes! Everybody has a budget or should choose wisely how to spend any budget money available.
I then began brainstorming because when I began teaching we repurposed many common objects and turned them into tools for the classroom; bread tags, bottle caps, old screws and nails, and old keys to name a few. Beans were the best counters around. Then I realized, poker chips could be place value disks. Sharpie markers could be used to label them.
We got them for five classrooms for just $45.00! It did require a bit of work labeling them but by saving money here I was able to order everyone true yardsticks and true meter sticks for each classroom. It's hard to teach what a yardstick is, if it's 39 inches on a meter stick. I purchased ours at a one of my favorite, "old fashion" stores - Star Beacon. I believe you can order from them online or at least call and they ship anywhere.