math counters

School’s back in and if your child is anything like mine, math has and probably always will be one of the tougher subjects.

While you were in elementary school, you might remember using colored objects to help with counting. These items are called math manipulatives, and they are still being used in schools. However, they are used in ways that don’t always involve basic counting skills. There are various kinds of manipulatives that can be purchased for the classroom instead of small circles with a different color on each side or blocks that are used to learn how to count by ones and tens.

Many teachers try to make using manipulatives into a game for students. This can sometimes be a benefit as it helps children learn how to count while they might not realize what they’re doing. There are items for younger children who are in preschool and items for older children in middle school who might need a little more help when it comes to math and science. Color tiles and two-color counters are often used when teaching numbers to younger children. They can be placed on papers that have addition and subtraction problems so that children can easily see how to use numbers to make a new number. There are small shapes of bright colors that can be placed on a table to create a new shape. This allows children to use a little more of the creative side of the brain as they will have to determine how the shapes fit together to make a new shape.

Games are a way to keep the attention of children. You can purchase sorting games that look like food or games that have divisions so that children have to put each color or shape in the proper place. Snap cubes are ideal for teaching about ones and tens. Children can make any number combination after you tell them the value of each color. Cuisenaire rods are used for the same concept. They are a little easier to work with as they are small rods that can be placed on paper to match the number shown. They can also be used to help teach basic values of length. Some manipulatives involve word problems. These can be used for older children who are beginning to process situations in life when numbers are used.

Now if there were only games that dealt with Algebra 2 and Trig.

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