2017 - Down River Resources
Multiplication and division can be difficult concepts to teach, especially if your second grade students have no prior experience with this type of thinking. It happens every year!  Multiplication and division problems are fundamentally different than addition and subtraction problem situations because of the types of quantities represented. Multiplication and division are taught together so that student can see that one operation is the reverse of the other. Let's make this year different! Using the mathematical principle of unitizing and the "GET" strategy, students will build their proficiency as they learn contextual multiplication and division in the math classroom.

Teaching Multiplication and Division in the Classroom 

Multiplication and Division are fundamentally different than addition and subtraction.

A simple addition problem situation could be: Ann has 3 cookies. Laura have her 4 more cookies. How many cookies does Ann have now? 

A simple multiplication problem situation could be: Ann has 3 bags of cookies with 4 cookies in each bag. How many cookies does Ann have? 

The numbers are the same but the quantities represented are different. This shift in thinking is what gives most students difficulty when transitioning from the operations of addition and subtraction to multiplication and division.

Second grade students need to be able to model, create, and describe contextual multiplication and division situations. What if there was something that could help bridge the gap for these students?

Unitizing Helps Students Shift Their Thinking 

 Have you heard of unitizing? It is an important, and often unknown, math word. Unitizing gives students a change in perspective.

Think back to the development of numeracy. Children learn to count objects one by one, also known as one-to-one correspondence. Instead of counting ten objects one by one, students can unitize them as one thing or one group. Another example of unitizing can be found within place value. Whenever we have 10 or more in a place value unit, we need to regroup. Thus, ten ones can also be thought of as a unit of ten.

This concept of unitizing is a big shift for students. It almost negates what our students originally learned about numbers. We want to help our students achieve the developmental milestone of unitizing. Unitizing is the underlying principle that guides students' learning.

Students need to use numbers to count, not only objects, but also groups... and to count them both simultaneously. Unitizing helps students build their proficiency in contextual multiplication and division.

Students need to be explicitly taught this principle and exposed to seeing it in action multiple times, much less subitizing in these primary grade levels. Show the students ten objects and tell them, " This is one group of 10." It seems simple, right? It is actually quite tricky for students to grasp, so repeat yourself...and repeat yourself. 

Multiplication and Division Strategy: Did You "GET" It?

Another trick for tackling multiplication and division is a little-known strategy. G-E-T is a simple acronym for an effective strategy when teaching contextual multiplication and division.

I have used the acronym before but I added this first step which helps build students' meta-cognition.

After reading through a word problem that involves multiplication or division, ask yourself: "Did you GET it?" If your answer is "yes," you probably followed these steps:

1. Read through the word problem at LEAST once.
2. Circle and label the number representing the GROUPS. (How many groups are the objects being divided  into?)*
3. Circle and label the number representing the EACH. (How many objects are within each group?)
4. Circle and label the number or noun represent the TOTAL. (How many total objects are altogether or in total?)

*When students label, they circle the number and noun (example: 12 cats) and they write the word to describe that part of the word problem (example: in this case, 12 cats would represent the total. The students would write the word TOTAL or the letter "T" on top of the circle.)

If your students label these three parts to a word problem, it will be so much easier solving for the unknown, whether is be the dividend, divisor, quotient, factors, or product.

Labeling word problems using the "GET" strategy is a non-negotiable in second and third grades! Of course, modeling and guided practice is a must before this layer of accountability takes effect! 

I hope this post inspires you to build your students' concept of unitizing and their proficiency with the "GET" strategy, and if you want to use my interactive math notebook on contextual multiplication and division, it's in my TpT shop.

What are some ways you build your students' proficiency in multiplication and division?

* References: Fosnot, C. & Dolk, M. (2001). Young mathematician at work: Constructing Multiplication and Division, NH: Heinemann. 
Spring brings butterflies, chicks, blossoms, and... plastic eggs! People near and far hunt for these special spherical objects hidden in secret places. I tend to just go straight to the seasonal aisles of my favorite stores and find a wide variety of plastic eggs to choose from with a lot less hassle. In recent years, the stores are stocking an eclectic mix of eggs. These eggs include special shapes (animals and carrots), unique patterns (faith-based words, animal print, camouflage), extra-sparkly glitter, golden, and transparent eggs...these probably just list the ones stocked at eye-level! I stockpile a large assortment of these diverse eggs and pair them with rigorous math concepts to create the perfect math centers for kindergarten, first, and second grades. While my ideas are focused on these grade levels, many of them can be adapted for other grades too! This is my go-to list for simple math centers using plastic eggs.

Creating the Best Math Centers Using Plastic Eggs

Matching Math Centers

Plastic eggs are versatile! You can write on them, fill them, or do both!

I love writing on them....probably because I stockpile school supplies like my husband stockpiles freeze-dried rations (insert "yuck" face!)

Numeral + Tens Frames (Kindergarten)

Grab a regular Sharpie marker and some of those eggs and get marking! One of my favorite ways for students to use the two parts of a plastic egg is to match the numeral to the tens frame. This helps students read and represent whole numbers 0 to 20 with objects (TEKS K.2B.)

You can also match the numeral to a tally mark, subitizing dots, the number word, or stickers placed on one of the parts!

Composing Ten (Kindergarten, First, & Second Grades)

Another way to use the "matching" concept is composing numbers. When two numbers are added together, this is called composing numbers. Students simply match two one-digit addends which add up to 10.

Kindergarten and first grade students are asked to compose numbers to 10 (TEKS K.2I & 1.3C.) This concept of putting two numbers together to form one can also build a second grade student's automaticity with basic facts (TEKS 2.4A.)

Stacking Math Centers

This might be my favorite way to use plastic eggs! Since you are only using one of the parts, the eggs go a long way. You will have more pieces to create more centers...and what do I want to make? More centers! 

Counting by Tens (Kindergarten & First Grades)

I love how simple algebraic reasoning skills can be practiced by stacking the pieces into a tower. Your students will think the best part of this math center is trying to make the tower stay up. It is VERY common that the entire tower will fall, so students are practicing a lot more than just algebraic reasoning with this center.

I use this center for counting by 10s (TEKS K.5.) This same concept can be applied to skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s (TEKS 1.5B.) Skip counting is also a great skill to continue practicing in second grade as the students will apply this skill to contextual multiplication. 

Sequencing Math Centers

No matter which grade level you teach, you can use this concept of sequencing numbers with plastic eggs. The concept remains unchanged, but the numbers will be different. You can also tailor this center to your students' needs. You may have a student who is struggling or advanced, whichever the case, add eggs with the numbers that best suits students' needs.

Kindergarten students practice numbers 0 through 20 (TEKS K.A,) while first grade students use numbers up to 120 (TEKS 1.2F.) Second grade students practice ordering numbers up to 1,200 (TEKS 2.2D.)

Ordering Whole Numbers (Kindergarten, First, & Second Grades)

This egg carrier was purchased at Dollar General for $2. They can also be found at Dollar Tree for $1. Most of these egg carriers hold 12 or 24 eggs. You can make the exact amount of eggs needed or less. The carrier just acts as a place holder for the eggs.

The best thing of all if that there is a center section which can hold the pile of eggs (see the top part of the image.) Students can pick up one egg at a time and place it in a spot. As students pick up additional eggs, they may need to move eggs as the place value of each of the numbers is determined. The carrier works as an open number line.

Filled Math Centers

Using filled plastic eggs, you could teach any math skill! You can write numbers, draw shapes, or create word problems on a piece of paper, fold it up, and place it inside a plastic egg! That's as simple as ABC, friends. I use a variety of materials to fill the eggs just to keep my students interested in egg activities so they are not repetitive.

_ More and _ Less (Kindergarten, First, & Second Grades)

Yes, there is a reason I left a blank in the title for this section! You can tailor this center to meet the needs of any grade level or any child.

Kindergarten students are working on one more and one less (TEKS K.2F,) while first grade students are learning 10 more and 10 less than a given number up to 120 (TEKS 1.5.) Second graders expand on this idea by determining the number than is 10 or 100 more or less than a given number up to 1,200 (TEKS 2.7B.)

You can place a card within the math center to indicate if the students are working on the number than is _ more or _ less than the given number or they can generate both numbers.

I had students simply take a strip of notebook paper and number it, like we do for spelling tests, then students drew their eggs, opened them up, and recorded their answers individually. The example shown is for first grade (10 more and 10 less than a given number). The numbers on the eggs represent the problem number for recording purposes. The number on the sticky note is the number that students use to generate their answers.

Counting (Kindergarten)

We all need another excuse to buy those irresistibly cute Target erasers, right?! Well, here's another one!

Fill the eggs with a certain number of erasers. Students will open one egg at a time and count to determine the quantity held in the eggs. I numbered the eggs so that the students can record their answers.

Again, I used a strip of notebook paper and had students number it, like we do for spelling tests. As they select eggs out of the basket or container, they record the answer on the corresponding line.

Kindergarten students are learning to count forward to 20 (TEKS K.2A,) and counting a set of objects up to at least 20 (TEKS K.2C.) This activity also build students' one-to-one number correspondence. 

Graphing (Kindergarten, First, and Second Grades)

This same concept of filling the eggs or placing objects within them can be applied to data collection, each egg could contain a specific object (erasers, jelly beans, etc.) and students record the data on a bar graph or picture graph. Students are learning how to collect and organize data (TEKS K.8ABC, 1.8ABC, 2.10CD.)

Coin Collections (First and Second Grades)

Fill plastic eggs with coins. I try to use real coins when I am able to as they are more life-like. Plus, there are so many varieties of coins, I have yet to find a math manipulative that captures their new look. Each egg is filled with a different combination of coins.

First graders are learning how to count by 1s to add up the value of pennies and skip count by 5s and 10s to add up the value of nickels and dimes (TEKS 1.4ABC). Second grade students are determining the value of a collection of coins up to one dollar (TEKS 2.5AB.)

I used a strip of notebook paper and had students number it, like we do for spelling tests. As they select eggs out of the basket or container, they record the answer on the corresponding line. In the example in the photograph, I had the second graders write the value of the collection of coins using the cent symbol and the dollar sign and decimal point to specifically meet the rigor within the second grade standard (TEKS 2.5B.) First graders would write the value of the collection of coins using the cent symbol.

Whew! That was a plethora of ways that you are create the BEST math centers using plastic eggs. I love that each of these math centers are rigorous.

Did you notice each idea I used was standards-based and met the specificity described? Students are practicing the power words in education: determining, generating, representing, composing! These are the higher-order thinking skills we want them to use and practice, practice, practice. Why not use plastic eggs to accomplish this? 

In addition, these dynamic math centers are be differentiated based on your students' needs. If your students has not mastered three-digit numbers, create some eggs with two-digits. If your students have surpassed the grade level goal, make them four-digit numbers! I love using plastic eggs in math centers as they are rigorous and meet the needs of diverse learners in my classroom.

I hope this inspires you to turn those leftover plastic eggs into some engaging math centers for diverse learners!

What is your favorite way to use plastic eggs for math centers?

I send out exclusive tips, tricks, and FREE resources to my partners. Drop your email below to become an exclusive partner!

Plastic eggs are not just for an Easter egg hunts! After a delicious Easter meal, the kids take part in a large Easter egg hunt at my parent's house. There are so many good hiding spots and, as usual, the older kids dominate the hunt. Colorful, plastic eggs jingle with coins and jellybeans...chocolate and a dollar bills too, but only if you are lucky! After a few quick minutes, everyone gathers back on the porch. The kids quickly hide their money (after counting it, of course!) and throw their eggs into a large sack. While everyone is eating jelly beans and some eat chocolate, I begin my favorite activity of the post-Easter season! I re-purpose those colorful, plastic eggs and create rigorous math centers that can be used for the rest of the school year. While I hunt high and low for interesting eggs, I can never have enough. So, what's the big deal with plastic eggs? I'm glad you asked...

Top Five Reasons to Use Plastic Eggs in Your Math Centers

1. Plastic eggs are inexpensive...unless you buy an entire cart full of them. Guilty as charged!

Most of the eggs I buy are about 98 cents to $2.00 per package. Of course, the basic colorful eggs are most inexpensive, while the larger, themed eggs are most expensive. I try and think about what I would like to use them for before I buy so I can have a quantity in mind...but most of the time I just buy, at least, two packages. That way, I am guaranteed to have a little variety in whatever I end up creating! I mean, when you see cute eggs you just buy them...kind of like those Target erasers. Gasp!

2. Plastic eggs can be used year-round. There is so much diversity in the type of eggs you can buy, you can use them seasonally and/or with your classroom themes.

I have eggs with sports theme that I use during those seasons. I also use the animal-shaped eggs to coincide with teaching about organisms. I love making as many cross-curricular connections using math as possible. Not only is it a great way to spiral, or revisit, previously taught content, it also gets the students engaged with the theme!

3. Plastic eggs provide a hands-on, or tactile, way which stimulates the brain.

Tactile learning take place when the students are carrying out the actual physical activity! Whether the students are sorting through the eggs or opening them up, students are actively participating in the math center.

4. Plastic eggs are versatile.... they can be written on with a permanent marker, stickers can be added on them, and/or they can be filled!

Pick your favorite way to use plastic eggs, mix it up, or use them all! Plastic eggs allow you to use them creatively to accomplish your specific learning goals for math centers.

My favorite writing tool to use on plastic eggs is a regular Sharpie marker in black. It goes on nice and smooth. I tried the flip chart version of the marker and it left marks.

5. Plastic eggs are reusable! Not only can you have an amaaazing Easter egg hunt with them, but you can use them within a center.

Don't worry if you are late to the Easter egg party! If you create a last-minute center this year, it will be ready to go for next year! You can break apart the eggs to compress them for storage, creating towers of like ends. Perhaps, you can even find some eggs on clearance... fingers crossed!

Why would you buy plastic eggs for your math classroom?

Have you heard of the interactive math game, Splat!? There are different variations and different games with the same name, but I use this interactive game to get my students engaged about a particular math concept which we have already learned. It can be used for interactive math reviews. It encourages students to analyze number relationships to connect and communicate mathematical ideas. This is a process standard that students can always use more support in practicing. Splat! is a fun way to apply mathematical concepts and makes for a fun math center, small group, or whole group game.

Using Splat! in the Math Classroom

Suggested Age Range for Activity

Splat! can be used with any grade level of students, just make sure that the content being reviewed is developmentally age appropriate or specific to your grade level's standards. 

Preparing for Activity 

Splat! games are relatively easy to prep. You will need a tall cylindrical tower. It works best with a potato chip can!

If you needed an excuse to buy more potato chips, here it is! After all, once you pop, the fun just doesn't stop! Now, the fun can continue for your entire school year! 

First, print out the cards. Then, cut out the cards and laminate. My games are created in both blackline, for ink savings, and in color which really makes the fun seasonal faces POP!

Regardless of which route you take, I recommend printing the cover for the cylindrical can in color. I use white copy paper so it bends around the surface better. I added some colorful complimentary washi tape on the top edge.

If using a tall can, you will need something to make up the difference, as the paper is only 8x11 inches tall. If you use a new shorter can, you will have to cut a little of the space on the top as the height of the can is shorter than the paper! (I've tried both ways! The really good flavors of chips come in the shorter cans! I like using the tall cans so I can utilize my colorful washi tape!)

To make it last longer and protect it from water and dirty hands, add packing tape around the paper as a protective

Teacher Tip: The thing that I love the most about Splat! is that the can you use to create the tower in the game also serves as storage for all of the game cards! 

To make the cards self-correcting, mark the correct answers with an adhesive dot on the back (yard sale sticker). If playing with your class, there is no need for this step, unless you will be adding it to an independent math center or station or using it for an activity for early finishers.

Reviewing Math Concepts with the Game Splat!

I try to find simple skills in the list of standards that could be turned into a one line question for the games I create.

Kindergarten Sample Questions:
What is 1 more than 6?
What is 1 less than 8?

First Grade Sample Questions:
What is 10 more than 55?
What is 10 less than 34?

Second Grade Sample Questions:
Is 27 odd or even?
Is 15 odd or even?

How to Play the Interactive Game Splat!

To play, set a timer for the amount of time you have to play, or stop play when the session is over.

1. Mix up the cards (math question cards + Did Somebody Say Splat Cards + challenge cards). Place the deck of cards facedown on the table.

2. Have players read the card and generate the correct response. The player should say that answer three times. This is my variation, but can be modified however you'd like.

3. After they answer the question, they place the card on the top of the tower.

If players pick a Did Somebody Say, “Splat?” card, they should simply place that card carefully on top of the “tower.”

If it stays there securely, that players turn is over. If that card or any other cards go SPLAT (falls off the tower,) that player must take all cards that fell.

If they pick a #challenge card they must follow the directions on the card. The same procedures apply.

The object of the game is to stack cards carefully without making any go SPLAT! Players that knock down cards must take them. 

At the end of play (either when the session ends, the timer rings or there are no more cards to play), the player with the LEAST cards is the winner!

There are so many different ways that you can manipulate the play of this game using the three different cards types. Find the way that you like best and get your students excited about math! 

I hope this post inspires you to use Splat! in your classroom and if you want to use my Splat! games, they're in my TpT shop.

What are some other ways you review math concepts in your classroom?

Have you heard of clip cards? Often used in preschool and kindergarten classrooms, clip cards or count and clip cards are great for practicing a variety of skills. They can be used with any subject, but, of course, my favorite is math. My students are able to practice rote counting and one-to-one correspondence with most of the sets of clip cards. Students look at the large box and count "how many" and place the clip on the correct answer. Not only do they benefit from practicing the math skills, they also practice their fine motor skills when attaching the clothespins to the correct answers.

Down River Resources

Using Clip Cards in the Math Classroom

Down River Resources Suggested Age Range for Activity

Clip cards are best for early learners (pre-school through first grades.) Older students with a diverse range of learning abilities can also benefit from this hands-on math center.

Preparing for Activity 

Clip cards are relatively easy to prep. First, print out the cards. Then, cut out the cards and laminate. 

Teacher Tip: I always suggest laminating the cards for durability. If you are planning on using these as early or fast finisher activities or within a regularly visited math center, it is best to always laminate first. Otherwise, you will have stray marks on random cards that will drive you cRaZy! Trust me, friend. Even if you plan on using the cards once, it'll be worth it. You can use these cards for small groups, Guided Math, intervention time, or tutoring later. In addition, the weight of clothespins will bend the cards if they are not laminated.

To make the cards self-correcting, mark the correct answers with an adhesive dot on the back (yard sale sticker).

You can set them in a basket or bin and they're ready to go!

Ways to Maximize the Usage of Clip Cards

Down River Resources
At first, students are just learning their numbers so this type of practice may be difficult. It also may come very easily to other students. It is important to maximize the use of any resource in the classroom, especially if your goal is to meet the needs of ALL of your students, especially those who need additionally support. 

One thing I like best about clip cards is that I am able to use one set of cards and differentiate the activity type of segments of my students. I have several students who are struggling and need a lot of hands-on, tactile practice with manipulatives. I can use clip cards can benefit these students! On the other hand, I have students who are mastering the basic math skills and are ready for a challenge. Clip cards are also advantageous for these students as well.

Here are some of my go-to tools I use to maximize the usage of clip cards in my classroom:

Down River Resources
Add a dry erase marker and board to the math center. Students can write a different way to represent the number on the dry erase board as an extension activity. Or, students can write the numeral for additional practice.

It is important for students to know how to represent whole numbers in various ways with and without picture and objects. This is a great activity to build this foundation of whole numbers.
Down River Resources
Did you need ANOTHER excuse to buy erasers? I know I sure did! Add a small bin of erasers to the math center. Students can practice one-to-one correspondence by adding an eraser on top of each object depicted on the card.

One-to-one correspondence is when you match one object to one other object or person. You can practice this in various contexts but it is best to use a tactile method first. This is often why you see parents using their fingers while saying their numbers as it builds on this skill. A number doesn't mean anything if you do not know that it represents a quantity.

Down River ResourcesAdd a laminated ten frame to the center and that small bin of erasers to your math center. Students can practice building the number of the ten frame.

This extension allows students to practice applying the mathematical process standards to acquire and demonstrate mathematical thinking. Students are able to create and use representations to organize, record, and communicate mathematical ideas.

Students not allow build the number on the tens frame, but they can explain to their partner how they built the number. It is important that students know that when using a ten frame, they place objects one-by-one, from top to bottom and left to right

Clip cards can be used in so many ways to benefit our students in the math classroom. They build students' number sense and fine motor skills. These cards are great for so students can acquire and demonstrate mathematical understanding.

I hope this post inspires you to use clip cards in your classroom and if you want to use my clip cards, they're in my TpT shop.

What are some other ways to use clip cards in your classroom?

Down River Resources
Personal Financial Literacy is a significant, but under-taught set of skills in most elementary math curricula. Texas is leading the way in teaching its young children, as early as kindergarten, to how manage financial resources effectively, in order to have lifetime financial security. That is a big charge for the little people taught in Texas schools! As adults, we can understand why these skills are so important as they impact a person's entire life. Personal Financial Literacy will help our students develop into productive and responsible citizens in our community, state, and country.

Teaching Personal Financial Literacy 

Personal Financial Literacy
President George W. Bush, who is also a Texan, established an advisory council in 2008, when he was in the White House. His Executive Order, created this council to "improve financial literacy among all Americans." After one year this council recommended that schoolchildren should be exposed to the topic of Personal Financial Literacy as early as kindergarten and continue their learning throughout their school years.

This recommendation is the reason that Texas is leading the way to teaching young children the importance of managing one's finances to provide lifelong security.

Literacy skills are the building blocks of development which teach self-sufficiency, this included financial literacy. This is significant as it impact a child's future development and the society as a whole.

Why is Personal Financial Literacy Important?

Financial Literacy Lapbook

Young Children are Using Their Money to Shop

Young children are exposed to advertising targeting them as their ideal customers. Shockingly, Parents Magazine reported in 2004 that “children ages 4 to 12 shell out an estimated $35.6 billion of their own cash annually, more than four times what they did a decade ago.”

Young children are impressionable which presents a window of opportunity for teachers to help build a foundation for understanding these valuable concepts. Caring for others and learning simple ways how to "give back" is the basis of
philanthropic thinking.

Benefits of Teaching Personal Financial Literacy High School Students Struggle With Basic Financial Skills

Charles Schwab’s 2007 Teens & Money Survey found that teenagers are very optimistic about their chances for financial success and describe themselves to be financially savvy; however, the survey results showed a much different result when their supposed skill set was put to the test. Here were the results:

- 51 percent knew how to write a check
- 34 percent could balance a checkbook
- 26 percent knew how credit card fees work
- 24 percent knew whether a check-cashing service is a good thing or bad thing to use
Benefits of Teaching Personal Financial Literacy
Benefits of Teaching Personal Financial Literacy

President Bush's Idea Behind Personal Financial Literacy 

We want people to own assets; we want people to be able to manage their assets. We want people to understand basic financial concepts, and how credit cards work and how credit scores affect you, how you can benefit from a savings account or a bank account. That’s what we want. And this group of citizens has taken the lead, and I really thank them…

What are the Benefits of Teaching Personal Financial Literacy?

Personal Financial Literacy Supports Long-Term Learning   

Some argue that money management is a skill taught in the home, the reality is that many parents are not willing or able to teach their children everything they need to know about finance; thus, students need to be exposed to money management at school.

Benefits of Teaching Personal Financial Literacy Texas' approach to Personal Financial Literacy is sometimes called a "spiral." (A topic is revisited repeatedly in different ways, increasing in depth,  using different examples and contexts. Personal Financial Literacy is taught across multiple grade levels. Each grade level has a precise skill set that is to be mastered within each grade level. This allows students the opportunity to learn, relearn, and think deeper about money management.

The Personal Financial Literacy strand of the Texas standards is carefully articulated in each grade so that the skills and concepts
develop coherently at each successive grade level. It is the goal that this learning "snowballs" over time. Through repeated exposures over time, concepts and skills become embedded in the child’s long-term memory.

The President's Council also supported the benefit. They felt that:
financial education is a life-long endeavor, and that terminology, skills and behaviors must be learned repeatedly, starting at a very young age. 

Benefits of Teaching Personal Financial Literacy Personal Financial Literacy Improves the Workplace 

Students need the skills, knowledge, and assistance to meet their future financial challenges. When employees are worried about debt and other personal finance issues, they have more difficulty focusing on their jobs and are not as productive.

Stress, including personal economic stress, is estimated to cost business as much as $300 billion a year in lost productivity, increased absenteeism, employee turnover, and increased medical, legal and insurance costs, according to the American Institute of Stress.

Take a minute to think about how much of an impact you will have on your students' future by teaching this important subject! 

Personal Financial Literacy Leads to Financial Security

According to the FDIC’s Alliance for Economic Inclusion, there are an estimated 28 million Americans that are “unbanked,” and 44.7 million more are “underbanked." So, 28 million Americans do not have their money secured in a bank and are, therefore, not earning interest on any of their money. They are not reaping the benefits of saving their money towards future wants and needs.

Benefits of Teaching Personal Financial Literacy
Benefits of Teaching Personal Financial Literacy
Without a bank account, it is also virtually impossible to get credit, receive Federal payments, or own property! Students need to know this so they can use a credit card responsibly, receive payments, and have the opportunity to own a home someday.

Many people who are underbanked feel:

- distrust in the banking system
- like they are unable maintain sufficient cash balances to avoid high monthly fees
- that if they write too few checks per month to need a checking account
- worried that they have too little monthly income to justify a savings account

These are the type of misconceptions that teachers can clear up if Personal Financial Literacy is taught in the math classroom.

You can read the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy 2008 Annual Report to the President too! (All facts presented were found within this report.)

I hope this post inspires you to teach Personal Financial Literacy in your math classroom and if you want to use my notebook or other resources, they're in my TpT shop.

What other benefits do you think teaching Personal Financial Literacy has on students?

dr. seuss math activities

Read Across America Week, Springtime, and Earth Day are all soon approaching... too fast for my liking! Dr. Seuss' fun truffela trees make the perfect math center for kindergarten and first grade students. By this time of year, kindergarten students should have a grasp of the first 10 or 15 numbers. Students should be quickly working towards knowing their numbers up to 20 by the end of the year. First grade students with number sense have met this goal before, but diverse students may still be working towards achieving that goal. This fun math center will provide you the opportunity to practice building number sense in your students during these spring months or whenever you feel "Seuss-ical!"

Using the Lorax in a Fun Math Center

lorax math activities
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is a fictional children's book that was published in 1971. The passionate orange fella, also the main character, the Lorax, speaks for the trees against the antagonist, the Once-ler. The Once-ler tells a tale of the beautiful valley containing a forest of Truffula trees, a whimsical organism, and a range of animals. He paints such a beautiful picture, but it was he who destroys it for greed. He uses the plant to create a material at the large factory. 

The Lorax is a really great story for students to be introduced to environmental science. It is a popular picture book to read for Earth Day too! This tree that once towered over the animals has been brought to life in their own unique way, as fluffy flowers. They stand tall and are quite magical as they help students read and recognize numbers to 20. 
spring number puzzles for kindergarten

Incorporating Science Vocabulary through Math Center

I love calling the pieces of this math puzzle by their correct name too. I use the word "flower" to describe the tops or starburst looking pieces. "Stem" or "trunk" can be used for the bases which three representations of each number are found including: ten frames, tally marks, and base-10 cubes.

It is the students' task to put together the fluffy flowers with the correct pieces, matching the numeral to the representations.
dr. seuss math activities

Diverse Ways to Prepare this Rigorous Resource

Prepping the math center can be as easy or difficult as you'd like it to be. The EASIEST way is to keep the rectangular shapes around the flowers and stems, so you do not have to spend an hour cutting out around the jagged edges.

As you can imagine, the most difficult way to prepare this math center is by cutting out the flowers and stems. While it does give this center A LOT of pizzazz, it is time consuming.

Let's face it, you might not have time for that. ;) 

read across america math centersYou've probably noticed through the photographs you can print with an ink-saving option (black line) or full color, if you happen to have an ink fairy at your school...I'm not so lucky.

Now, friends, this is probably the feature I looooove the best! It is perfect as a challenge in kindergarten and gives a differentiation option to first and, even, second grades.

There is a set of blank templates. THE STUDENTS fill them out and create their own. In kindergarten, they'd probably follow the same format. In first grades, students can write larger numbers up to 120, while in second grades students can use numbers up to 1,200.

Can you imagine using this option and each kiddo making one? I think that would be a cute bulletin board display!

In fact, I'm off to prepare for that now!

I hope this post inspires you to be creative this spring in your math centers and if you'd like to use my fluffy flowers number puzzles, you can find them in my TpT shop.

What are some ways that integrate math math during these fun spring holidays?

Back to Top