Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thrifty Thursday- Quickly Hand Out Math Manipulatives

I am linking up with Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard today for Thrifty Thursday.

The Kindergarten Smorgasboard

His Thrifty Thursday is really neat, you can check it out by clicking the picture below.

Now, onto my Thrifty Thursday!!!

Can I just start by saying that I love, love, love the Dollar Tree! They have some great stuff that can be used in so many ways in the classroom! Today I bought these little plastic bowls. They come 4 in a pack, so they were only $0.25 each! Y'all, if that isn't thrifty, I don't know what is!

The reason I bought these containers is because I hate handing out manipulatives. Sometimes I just throw the manipulatives in the middle of the floor and tell the kids to grab 10 (or 20). I know that isn't exactly organized, but I seriously HATE handing out manipulatives. I've tried to whole baggie thing where I've put whatever number of manipulatives into 20 baggies, but my kiddos are 5 and baggies aren't the easiest thing for them to open or close (especially close) unless they are the zipper kind. Do you know how expensive those zipper baggies are? Um, NOT thrifty! Plus, I don't know about y'all, but I think I run out of the student supplied baggies (1 box of gallon for girls and 1 box of quart per boy) by October…maybe November if I'm really conservative.

I say all of that so you understand that I needed a better system. That's where these little containers come in. I'm so excited to not have to do so much with manipulatives in baggies this year!

So, I bought 20 containers…4/pack at $1 each, that's only $5!

I then took some manipulatives and filled them up. I started with 10 cubes in each container.

I wanted to see if 20 cubes would fit so that I wouldn't have to get more containers, and they fit perfectly!

I obviously wasn't at school when making these, and don't typically keep unifix or snapping cubes on hand at home during the summer, so I also bought these foam cubes from the Dollar Tree! They measure about 1 inch by 1 inch, and are foam, so I won't hear the plastic cubes dropping all over the floor! I love them!

The come with 50 in a pack 10 of two colors and 15 of two colors, do I did have to do some digging to get exactly 10 of each color because I didn't want a mix of colors in the container (yes, OCD, I know). I got 4 packs: 2 with 15 each of red and blue and 2 with 15 each of green and orange, and it all worked out. After I finished putting 10 in each container, I realized I loved them so much, I went back and bought 4 more packs so I can put 20 in each when we start our teen numbers!

So, this entire project cost me $5 for the containers and $8 total for 400 cubes (8 packs). So for $13 plus tax, I can now hand out cubes for manipulatives VERY easily! No more nightmares!

And all 20 containers fit nicely into my lovely GoNoodle reusable tote for convenient carrying purposes, although once I get them to school, I will probably put them into one large container to keep them easily accessible for mini lessons/activities.

I have a feeling that I will be going back to Dollar Tree soon for more containers of various sizes for different manipulatives. I've already got containers for dice (so they don't shoot across the floor), and red/yellow counters (for composing and decomposing numbers), so I am already off to a good start! Who knows what I'll put in containers next...

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