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Creative and Engaging Resources for Learning Math Skills

The start of a new school year means it’s time to refresh and review what was learned the previous year. There is an extra challenge going into this year because the 2019-2020 school year was cut short and many students had to adjust to virtual learning overnight.

But don’t worry! We can still start the 2020-2021 school year off right.

I’ve put together a few digital resources that will follow all health and safety guidelines while keeping kids engaged and learning.

Here are two resources I’m loving right now for helping elementary students review basic math skills in a fun and easy way:

Safe alternatives to math manipulatives in the primary classroom

Can’t use math manipulatives as usual? No problem!

Creativity and resourcefulness are two of the greatest strengths that we teachers have. Give us lemons and we’ll make lemonade in 3 different flavors — and we’ll have the coolest lemonade stand too!

That’s how I feel about using digital manipulatives. No need to buy expensive materials for the classroom or worry about keeping them sanitized. You can still use favorites like counting bears, dice, and base-ten blocks to help students with their basic math skills. 

As long as you have a smartboard you will be able to incorporate digital manipulatives into your lesson plans while students are safely distanced in their seats!

The best part? Digital manipulatives aren’t just for the classroom. It’s also perfect for virtual learning. It can be sent home with your students as long as they have access to a computer, iPad, or tablet. 

These are some of the manipulatives that are included in my resource:

  • counting bears
  • blocks
  • buttons
  • fingers
  • beads
  • dice
  • pattern links
  • popsicle sticks
  • base-ten blocks
  • ten frames
  • coins & bills
  • number lines
  • 2D shapes
  • 3D shapes
  • fractions (circles & rods)
  • rulers

So how do you use digital manipulatives with students?

Google Slides makes using digital manipulatives interactive and customizable. You’re able to share your screen for visual learning while your students are at their desks.
This resource doesn’t have lessons attached, so you can make your lesson as short or long as you’d like. It’s easy to pull up for a quick review while you wait for the lunch bell to ring and can be integrated into your morning routine for a quick math review. You’re able to sneak in a quick number practice whenever you can!

Use digital manipulatives just like you would with traditional math manipulatives. On the Google Slides, you can create a variety of problems to solve with whatever manipulatives you choose. Give these to your students for individual practice on their devices or do a group lesson in front of the class.

You will still be able to give your students the experience of using manipulatives even if they aren’t able to benefit from the tactile aspect. 

How else can I make math fun for my students?

The 2020-2021 school year might involve a lot of sitting at our desks for longer lengths of time, which we all know is difficult for our little learners. That’s why we need to come up with new (and distanced) ways for students to be active throughout the day.

A scavenger hunt combined with practicing math skills will be a rewarding and educational break from desk work for any student. And because safety is of the utmost importance this year, kids don’t even need to share materials for this activity. 

So how do I turn my classroom into an adventure?

First, download the Solve The Room Bundle. Then see what math skills you want your students to work on that day. Place cards throughout the room and have your students grab clipboards to record the problems they solve on the math cards they find. Show the answer key on your smartboard so they can check their answers independently. 
Pretty neat, right?

Kids will love that they are going on a fun adventure and you’ll be happy they can get some energy out. It’s a WIN-WIN! 🎉

In my bundle, you get 30 games included so you can keep it fresh and new for your classroom each time you do it. Here’s what’s included:

  • Subitizing
  • Counting (up to 10)
  • Counting On (up to 20)
  • Number Order – Missing Number In Sequence (up to 20)
  • Mystery Number (more/less)
  • Find The Sum (up to 10)
  • Find The Sum (up to 20)
  • Subtraction (from 10)
  • Subtraction (from 20)
  • Comparing Numbers (< = >)
  • Add or Subtract
  • Skip Counting – Missing Numbers
  • Skip Counting – Patterns
  • Adding with Pictures
  • Missing Addend
  • Subtracting with Pictures
  • Missing Number
  • Counting base-ten blocks (up to 100)
  • Comparing base-ten (< > =)
  • How many tens? Ones?
  • Adding with base-ten blocks
  • 100 Chart – Ten more/less
  • 100 Chart – Mystery number
  • 2D shapes (name the shape)
  • 3D shapes (name the shape)
  • 3D shapes (how many faces?)
  • Symmetry
  • Fractions (parts of a shape)
  • Fractions (part of a group of objects)
  • Time (to the hour & half hour)

And because I want to make this easy for you, all games are a different color for quick clean-up, and the recording keys and answer sheets are included too!

Have you tried digital resources for your classroom?

Even if you’re teaching in person this year, digital learning is the name of the game. With restrictions in place, it is a simple way to work around guidelines while keeping everyone safe. Let me know in the comments how you’re using digital resources this year! And be sure to let me know if you’d like me to add any other tools to the store to make the transition easier for you 😊

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