Math tool kits are the perfect way to keep math tools organized for your daily math lessons. Check out how I make a portable storage kit for students that can be used throughout the school year. Plus you can download a free resource for your own math kits.
Why Should You Use Math Tool Kits?
Having a portable kit of hands-on math manipulatives and resources is a great way to keep students engaged in learning – no matter the grade level. Plus, we all know that when we are organized, our lessons are SO. MUCH. BETTER!
I have said this before… I am NOT organized by nature. I am a stacker and shuffler. I make stacks starting in August and I shuffle them until May… OY!
I use to keep math mats and manipulatives in one container and stacked them. Not really efficient… definitely not organized. Time was wasted each day as I passed out the materials that were needed for the math lesson. Who has time to waste each day? Not me! Who wants 5 and 6-year-olds to have idle time? Definitely not! So how could I solve this problem? Create a math kit!
Math Tool Kits
TA DA!! Math kits! Or… math toolbox… Or WHATEVER you want to call them.
I used binders, you may want to use some other type of storage containers. The most important thing is that it is an effective way to keep all of your student math resources together and it is student-friendly.
These can be used to organize any math tool resources, regardless of the program you use.
During our math workshop, my students worked in pairs. So I created 10 math tool kits for my 20 students. Each set of partners was assigned to one tool kit.
Our Math Workshop is super hands-on. I want to make learning fun and I love that students are continuously engaged in our daily math lessons. Every math lesson requires tools for students to use. So having them all together made perfect sense.
Each binder includes a zipper pouch to hold the math essentials needed for your lessons. These are a great organizational tool to ensure nothing gets lost. You can grab them from Walmart or Target or check them out on Amazon, HERE.
A Little Tip… Number Your Students’ Math Toolkits!
I recommend that you number each tool kit. Every day, the same partners get the same kit. In this way, if one group is rough on a set or if pieces go missing, I only have to deal with one binder, not 10. You may have to change out the occasional zipper pouch here and there (oftentimes good quality pouches will hold up all year long) but the kits should stay in good shape from the beginning of the year to the end and for years to come.
Yes, it took some organizing… Call your teacher BFF, put on a chick-flick marathon, and have at it. You will save SO MUCH precious instructional time and your sanity. Once it is done, it is DONE! I think you will love it.
What goes inside a math tool kit?
This will depend on what resources you need your students to use throughout your math lessons. Inside the tool kit, I have everything we will need (minus the manipulatives) for the ENTIRE YEAR! YES! THE ENTIRE YEAR!! Math talk cards, 10 frames, and smaller pieces are kept in the zipper pouch. All of the math work mats and talk cards are from our Guiding Kinders math series. The dry erase marker is also kept in this pouch. In this way, I do not have to organize the binders week after week, year after year. Once they are done… they are done!
Each piece inside the tool kit is also numbered. So, if I find one of our number lines, a number bonds mat, or ANY missing piece on the floor, I can easily get those back to the correct kit.
Additional supportive materials can be added. I have included a 100’s and 120’s chart in the free download.
WAIT! WHAT ABOUT THE MANIPULATIVES?
When we are in a unit that needs snap cubes, I simply add them to the zipper pouch. Then 5 days later when we don’t need the snap cubes anymore, I remove them. By doing this I SAVE SO MUCH TIME and set my students up for future math success. Passing out materials to kindergarten, 1st, or even 2nd grade students can sometimes lead to a wee bit of monkey business. Time saver = check! Sanity saver = double check!
FREE MATH TOOL KIT
The math tool kit setup guide and labels are available as a free download. Simply add your name and email to the box at the end of this blog post. You will receive an email with the downloadable file. Plus, you will be added to my email list for additional resources!
Check out these links to get the materials that go inside the Math Tool Kit for early elementary students:
- Guiding Kinders Math Curriculum for the Entire Year
- Guiding Firsties Year Long Guided Math Lessons for First Grade
- Math Tool Kit Resources (work mats, math-talk cards, binder covers, and binder spine labels)
Here are some other math resources you may be interested in!
- Kindergarten Math Supplements – These are kindergarten math printables that can be used to practice essential math skills. This resource can be used for math centers, morning work, or homework. There are also journal prompts included.
- First Grade Math Supplements
- Kindergarten Math Centers Year Long Bundle
- Book Based Math Centers Bundle