March 2017 - Down River Resources | Your Elementary Math Guide
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.

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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

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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:

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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.
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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?

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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?

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