Thursday, September 15, 2016

Math and Manipulatives Centers!

 I am so excited to talk about the math/manipulatives center in a pre-k classroom.  Math is one of my favorite subjects to teach.  It's so rewarding when a student makes the connection with numbers, counting, and one to one correspondence.  After that, it all seems to click!
I am blessed to have so many great math tools in my class.  I don't put everything out at the same time.  Instead, I focus on different learning objectives and narrow the math manipulatives down.  I also make a lot of items to use with my themes.
 This is my whiteboard/magnet board divider in my room {which I love and highly recommend if your budget allows} and an example of something I use that I made.  I back the pieces with magnetic tape.
This is another example of an easy thing to use in your math center.  There are different types of ice cube trays and muffin tins, along with pompoms to practice one to one correspondence.  As a bonus, add tweezers, tongs, etc. to strengthen fine motor development.
On my shelves near my circle time area, I have different counters and counting games that I can easily pull out during group time.  These things are also available during centers to allow my little learners to practice playing games that require counting.
I have several 10 frame activities that I use throughout the year.  I usually introduce 10 frames after first quarter and then hit the concept heavy in the spring.
These are referred to as toy tubs in my class.  Often my students will pull these out after arrival, while some are eating breakfast, during rest time when some students are sleeping, and during centers, if they choose.
Here are a few of the items up close.
I also have several color sorting activities for my sweet ones that still need practice in that area.
These counting tubes are a  class favorite!
 I also have puzzles that work on math concepts.
Another absolute favorite item are these Magna Tiles!
I love that not only do they build with them, but they are also learning things like if you put two triangles together you can make a square!
Speaking of shapes, I love my attribute blocks and these 3D shapes.  I use them more in the spring to help prepare my pre-kinders for kindergarten.
According to the The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) "high-quality, challenging, and accessible mathematics education for 3- to 6-year-old children is a vital foundation for future mathematics learning".  They go on to state that Mathematics helps children make sense of their world outside of school and helps them construct a solid foundation for success in school.
There are SO many amazing books with math concepts.  We are doing an apple theme right now, so we just read Ten Apples Up on Top and Ten Red Apples, but you can find books specifically written to teach math skills.
This set of math books is from Lakeshore, but there are many, many great titles you can find for just about any theme.
The role of the teacher in pre-k is to enhance a child's natural interest in math by providing hands on manipulatives, along with enough time to for students to engage and explore through play.

I hope you have enjoyed getting a peek at my math/manipulatives centers in my classroom!

Now it's time to check out Pre-K Partner's blog and learn about her math centers!

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)


  1. Just like your thoughts the article also seems to be colorful. I wasn't even aware of so many games that kids can make the connection with numbers, counting, and one to one correspondence. The article will be useful for those who are looking to open play school.