What are your must-have concrete materials when you are teaching Maths?
Even before COVID times, we loved to set up Maths kits, but now, it is even more necessary for students to be able to access concrete materials to support their learning safely and easily.
Why set up Maths Packs:
We are big fans of Maths packs; here are some reasons why:
Every student always has what they need when it is time for Maths
Students are responsible for their own equipment (getting it out, looking after it and packing it away)
They allow students to use various strategies because they have a range of materials at their fingertips (not just the concrete resource we have provided them with)
They help develop independent learners (see point above)
It cuts down on setting up time (particularly teachers of the younger grades)
What is included?
What you include in your maths packs may vary from grade to grade, but generally, this is what we like to put in them
Uno cards that can also be used as digit cards or playing cards
Dice (ideally a various number of sides & values)
Whiteboard and marker
Blank number of the day templates (for warmups or fast finishers - you can grab free one to try here) and
1-2 fun games to develop a skill (in this image it is friends to Ten but you can swap these out or differentiate this addition)
COVID Teacher Tip: Set up individual learning packs for your students with essential items. Not only will it allow you to get back into learning with concrete materials but it will also save you with cleaning AND it will make setting up lessons super quick and easy too. What is not to love?!
What we have found
We have been using Maths kits/packs like this for years.
It takes a little time getting them setup but once they are it makes Maths lessons so much easier.
The students are prepared, you will always have enough of the resources/materials you need and the kids will be able to access concrete materials to support their learning at any time.
Teacher tip: We have tried many storage systems for Maths packs and have found Ikea snap lock bags to be a good size and very durable.
One final thought… the initial setup!
If you have read this post and thought setting up individual maths packs for every student is going to be a time consuming job - you are right! Let us tell you, it will be worth the time investment.
BUT, also know that you don’t need to tackle it alone.
Why not set up all the materials so they are ready to go and dedicate 20-30 mins with your students to create the maths packs together? This might even give them more of a sense of responsibility over the items in their bag because they have been involved in the process.
At the end of the day, we are all about being organised and working smarter and not harder here at Rainbow Sky. Give these maths packs a try, they may change your outlook on setting up Maths lessons in the future.