Hey teaching friends! I know it is getting to be the end of the year and don’t you love when you pull out a box of manipulatives, only to find half of them missing? They were lost under desks, cabinets, and bookshelves along the way most likely. They got great use and lots of learning occurred, but that doesn’t help you get through the end of the year when you need them now.
Here is a fun and super inexpensive way to use the same idea to get you to the last day of school without breaking the bank and teach place value along the way: all you need are a box of straws and some scissors!
Snip off pieces of the straws to make ONES. Use the remainder as TENS. Easy peasy!
Need a way to store them?
I love these simple decorated boxes – and even cuter are these little plastic cups to hold the ones. Pop one of the cups into the box and it becomes a handy storage area for your manipulatives! Place it right at your math center and hands on learning has never been so colorful or fun.
Another option? How about a divided dish plate with a lid? Toss your ones in the smaller sections and your tens (and maybe even pipe cleaners to bundle them) in the large section. Each table group in your class gets one plate to work from and everything goes back in the plate with the lid secured before stacking on the shelf. These are particularly nice because they will stack nicely on top of one another too!
Whatever you decide, have fun learning!