I'm calling this "Dollar Store Math" because two of the main things we're using right now came from the Dollar Tree (OK a LOT more than two, but I meant in Peanut's math lessons).
Earlier in the year I bought several packs of soft cubes from Dollar Tree that had several different colors to be used for various manipulative's, including math. You can read how we were using them originally here . Fine motor skills for stacking, creativity in building 3D objects, counting, sorting colors, and YCJ even used them for multiplication (which is why I had to buy about 3 sets I think it was so I have around 150 of them, it could be I bought 4 sets and have 200 of them. Either way they fit in a coffee can LOL).
Well, now Peanut has a lot of addition and subtraction beginning with her Kindergarten workbooks. Plus, we bought her a "penguin" math workbook from Dollar Tree. So we've brought these out again to help her understand addition and eventually subtraction.
We choose two colors to show how many of each we're adding, we use the lid of the container to represent zero (sometimes this is a hard concept to grasp and having something totally different to represent it often makes the concept concrete). We'll then ask her the question of what is 5+5 (or other addition problem) and she'll either already know or use the cubes to count to the total. Sometimes she moves them around to where they make more sense to her, but either way she's learning and grasping the concept!!
Since we began working with these again her math pages (which average ten questions each) take less than five minutes for her to do and she hasn't gotten any wrong! Eventually we'll rely on the manipulative's less and less but considering that the workbook she's mainly practicing with, though she uses these for her Kindergarten math as well, is first grade level I would say she's doing fabulously!
On a side note, YCJ will be practicing with these again in some "play" time for her multiplication facts as well. Another thing we've done for YCJ is to temporarily move her back to level one readers, we'll work through all that the library has, then move to level 2's, and then up to level 3's so that she regains her confidence to read chapter books. It only took one with too many hard words for her to not want to read, I wanted to spark the reading bug back to life so I grabbed a handful of level 1 Fancy Nancy books and a level 2 Frozen book as a reward for when she finishes the level 1's we borrowed. So far so good!!
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