Base Ten Set | EasyRead Clock (here for Aust stockist) | Scales | Wooden Abacus | Magnetic Shapes | Wooden Geometric Solids | Dice | Montessori Large Wooden Number Cards (here for Aust stockist) | Montessori Sandpaper Numbers (here for Aust stockist) | Calculator | Transparent Geometric Solids | Tape Measure | Tangram Puzzle | Magnetic Easel | Geometry Set
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With the school year starting again, I’ve been getting a few emails asking about our math materials. I’ve been meaning to update the materials page for forever so I thought I’d get started with some of our favourite math materials for discovery-based learning.
Scales: Display with some natural loose parts like stones, pinecones, pumice or next to a basket of blocks
Wooden Abacus: A new addition to our math materials but it has quickly become a favourite. Display it alongside some sums, explore number patterns, practise skip counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, or combine it with a small clipboard and a basket of wooden fruit for a small shop.
Magnetic Shapes: Explore symmetrical patterns, create mandalas, sort colours and shapes, create pictures with shapes. Plus being magnetic means they stay put which can be frustrating when using wooden shapes.
Wooden Geometric Solids: Add these to your block area to inspire new design ideas
Dice: Great for quick subitising (seeing amounts without having to count them) as well as simple addition/subtraction games. Also pair them with natural loose parts or transparent loose parts on the light panel for quantifying
Large Wooden Number Cards: These cards are designed to place the smaller numbers over the top of the larger. This means the child is able to easily see how to create large numbers.
Sandpaper Numbers: One of the first math materials I bought and still being used three years later. Leave a few numbers out to explore, pair them with a sensory tray (like salt or coloured sand) or with a clipboard and thick coloured pencils.
Calculator: Pair it with some loose parts, a clipboard and fine-tipped marker, some dice or on its own on the shelves. A simple instruction and your child will be off creating their own sums. A calculator is always on our shelves.
Transparent Geometric Solids: These make my list too because of their open-ended-ness (is that a word?) These solids have removable bases which means you can add them to kinetic sand, sensory bins, water bins and explore 3D shapes, capacity and volume.
Tape Measure: Like calculators, we always have out tape measures. Add them to your block corner for measuring the highest towers, or the longest tunnels. Combine one with a clipboard and fine-tipped marker for recording measurements. And take one along when heading out for a nature walk to measure the girth of trees or the length of fallen trunks.
Tangram Puzzle: A tangram puzzle is both frustrating and slightly addictive. I’ve included it here after seeing the depth of critical thinking involved in solving the puzzle.
Magnetic Easel: Can I just say that these magnetic easels are fabulous. They are slightly inclined; making them gentler on the eyes when working with them. Pair them with a basket of interestingly shaped magnets for free exploration, or the magnetic shapes mentioned above. (While not math related) There’s also scope for literacy development; using magnetic letters and words to create sentences and stories.
Geometry Set: Make sure you always have a clipboard and markers handy for free exploration and design. If you get a transparent set, you can offer them on the light panel with some OHT paper and markers.
So some general math materials for discovery-based learning. I’m planning a more detailed blocks post as well as shapes and patterns.
Anything else you’d add to the list?
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