My favorites are Yvonne Crawford’s that go with every Common Core math standard. You can find them on TpT here. They are super fun and have several activities per standard.
The other ones I love are by For the Love of Teaching on TpT. Kimberly’s go along with the topic from Pearson’s enVisions. I like these added hands-on activities to reinforce the skills. Since I’m actually ditching the curriculum, I think that continuing to use these activities, the kids will get enough of a taste of doing math the enVisions way. I like these packs better than the actual curriculum in the fact that there are journal prompts for kids to explain their thinking and there are I Can statements that kids glue on the page. My school is big on the kids knowing what they are doing and why, so these packs are great for that.
Another tool I began using is the rekenrek. Nope, that wasn’t a fake cough. A rekenrek is a Dutch math tool, similar to an abacus, with 2 rows of 5 white and 5 red beads. It helps children develop number sense from 0-20 by physically moving the beads and thinking in groups of 5 and 10. Another weakness I have been seeing in our math adoption is a lack of number sense. It focuses too heavily on standard algorithms and not enough on mental math. There are mental math chapters, but they fly through the strategies so fast that the kids don’t end up actually learning them and applying them when faced with problems. Daily practice on this rekenrek and sharing our thinking helps students try new ways of thinking.
- I pre-cut the foam sheets down to 4″x6″ using a ruler and a sharpie.
- I made dots as to where the pipe cleaners will be poked through the foam. I measured the dots 1″ from the edge of the foam and tried to center them.
- I then passed out the foam and the pipe cleaners and showed the kids how to poke holes in the foam.
- Once they each had both stems sticking in one side of the foam, I passed out a bowl of white beads to each table group.
- They took out 5 beads and threaded them on the top stems and 5 more for the bottom stems.
- We did the same with the red beads.
- We poked the other end of the pipe cleaner into the foam and twisted the stems together on the back.
- I had each student write their name on their rekenrek with a Sharpie.