Why math tool kits?
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 put them all in one container and stacked them. Not really efficient… definitely not organized. Time was wasted each day as I passed out the work mats and other materials. Who has time to waste each day? Not it! Who wants 5 and 6-year-olds to have idle time? Not it! Over one summer I thought about what I could do to disperse materials more efficiently AND keep them organized.
Math Tool Kits
These can be used to organize any math tool resources, regardless of the program you use.
During our math workshop, my students work in pairs. So I created 10 tool kits for my 20 students. Each set of partners will be assigned to one tool kit.
Our Math Workshop is so hand-on. It requires tools for students to use. So having them all together made perfect sense.
You can see our bear counters in the picture above. For a variety look HERE.
Binder bags are a great organization tool to ensure nothing gets lost. Get them HERE.
Number the kits!
Each tool kit is numbered. Everyday 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 folder, not 10. Last year I only had an issue with one zipper pouch. I replaced it and we were good to go. The kits looked just as good at the end of the year as they did in the beginning.
What is inside?
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!
Wait! What about the manipulatives?
When we are in a unit that needs snap cubes, I simply add them to the zippered pouch. Then 5 days later when we don’t need the snap cubes anymore, I removed them. By doing this I SAVE SO MUCH TIME! Passing out materials to students who are 5-6 can sometimes lead to a wee bit of monkey business. Time saver= check! Sanity saver=double check!