Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A handy Maths idea.....Maths Toolkits

Today I thought I'd share a really handy teaching tool that was shared with me a few years ago... its one of those ideas that are so simple yet brilliant... 
Maths Tool kits

Basically, a Maths Toolkit is a little bag/box/container that each student has which contains the basic Maths 'Tools' that they will need for their Maths Learning. They're also a great way to teach kids to keep track of their resources - because they each have their own box with their own maths tools in it, I find they're really keen to look after it (yay!)

Here's a picture of the tool kits for my Reception class...

I've just started with 1-10 cards, 1-6 dot die, 0-9 die, 1m piece of string, a blank ten frame, 10 flip tiles (I find the two colour flip tiles more useful than ordinary counters, as you can use them for two part patterns and decomposing numbers as well). We add to the tool kits throughout the year, as the kids learn more and need more equipment.

Other things you might went to put in could include 100 chart, measuring tape, card with shape names on it, dominoes, pack of playing cards, calculator/compass etc (for older kids).. the list is endless!

This year I've just used plastic containers for the tool kits, though you can use anything really... old VCR cases are great, thick cardboard boxes with lids can work too (and look really colourful!). The VCR cases are great if you can get them, as they're really sturdy and you can slip a cover in for the kids to decorate and personalise.

I also teach the kids easy to play maths games using dice/cards throughout the year so that they can play them not only in Maths time, but whenever they have some free time. It's great for early finishers! You can also make a poster/booklet showing all the games to remind kids about the games they can choose from. Its a great way to squeeze a little extra Maths into the day!

Do use something similar? I'd love to hear about it :)


  1. I LOVE using maths bags/boxes with students, especially the younger ones. When I worked with preps, they each had a drawstring maths bag that included lots of different things. I pinned a picture of it here: http://pinterest.com/pin/160933386654905900/

    They included a ten frame, hundreds chart, 0 - 10 cards, 0 - 20 number line, clock face, measuring tape, minute timer, 10 counters, numerous dice, mini playing cards 10 icy pole sticks, 2x10 match stick bundles, and a pipe cleaner with 10 beads threaded on!

    I only began working with the class half way through the year, so I'm not sure whether the manipulatives were added gradually, or they began with all of the goodies. I really like the idea of a 1m piece of string though... I must add that next time!

    1. Emily, I love your bags... I repinned your photo!

      I love the idea of including the pipe cleaner with beads... great for Bonds to 10, also the match sticks too - I'm going to add both of those to our boxes :)

      Thanks for sharing what you do... I love hearing about the great ideas that other people have :)