I am so excited to partner with Wikki Stix today to bring you this blog post on Homemade Math Manipulatives (that you really do need to make). Plus an awesome GIVEAWAY – read on!
It is hard to keep up with everything in my own home right now, much less everything in the whole world. So I must admit, I am likely quite naïve about what your neck of the woods looks like. Right now, where I live, schools are closed once again and online learning is the name of the game for most.
So given my skill set as a teacher, plus my second skill set as a homeschooling Mama, I thought it a great time to share with you some homemade tools of the trade.
Certain things are really tricky to teach through a screen, so having tools to use with your little ones at home is a fabulous idea.
Math is definitely a topic that is easier to grasp when you have something … well … to grasp.
Today I wanted to share with you a few of the homemade math manipulatives we use, all from a simple pack of Wikki Stix!
One of the best math manipulatives for young learners are Cuisinaire Rods. These rods have been used in tons of different math programs now, and for good reason. They truly make math much more meaningful.
This homemade version of cuisinaire rods is likely best used for demonstration purposes, or for slightly older students, as they are a bit finicky due to them being small. Little ones can do it themselves, but they will likely need some support.
Cuisinaire rods can be used for addition and subtraction, and are ideal for helping children see how numbers fit and work together.
Theses rods, coupled with my making ten math sheets are the ideal math duo for young learners.
So let’s get right-to the how-to for making these little gems.
Begin by laying out your ten Wikki Stix.
These can be any colours at all, but should be different colours.
Line them up on a table top, and then you simply cut them to size!
If you are wanting to make them true to form, and match the traditional colours of cuisinaire rods, the colours are:
White (1 cm), Red (2 cm), Light Green (3 cm) Purple or Pink (4 cm), Yellow (5 cm), Dark Green (6 cm), Black (7 cm), Brown or tan (8 cm), Blue (9 cm), Orange (10 cm)
You will want to make a few duplicate rods, especially of the smaller sizes. Perhaps you would cut ten white 1 centimeter rods, five of the red 2 centimeter rods, three of the green 3 centimeter rods, two of the purple 4 centimeter rods, and two of the yellow 5 centimeter rods.
Now you are set to play and explore with your homemade cuisinaire rods!
There are lots of ways to use these math manipulatives. A few examples for young learners:
- These rods are excellent for placing together to figure out which combination of numbers can make 10. Children could put two of the 5 centimeter rods together, or a 4 centimeter rod and a 6 centimeter rod.
- They are also excellent for addition. Which numbers add to 8? Grab out the 8 centimeter rod and figure out which combination of smaller rods will equal it’s length. Perhaps it could be a 5 centimeter rod and a 3 centimeter rod.
- Same goes for subtraction! If you start with the 6 centimeter rod, and subtract 2 centimeters, what are you left with? Place the 2 centimeter rod next to the 6 centimeter rod and find the rod that completes the length.
Pretty cool, right?
Wikki Stix are so awesome for lots of math manipulative ideas. We played with making 3D shapes. It is such an awesome, hands on way to see how many edges and vertices those 3D shapes truly have.
On the Wikki Stix Website I found even more ideas. Like these simple math flowers, perfect for counting:
These 2D geometric Shapes:
And even fractions!
Talk about versatile. We just love these sticky little pieces of fun and learning! And guess what? Now YOU get the chance to love them too!
To celebrate Wikki Stix big launch onto Canada’s Amazon, they are offering a special giveaway! But not to fret, my American friends, you get the chance to win as well.
Wikki Stix is generously offering:
a BIG COUNT BOX OF 468 WIKKI STIX to ONE Canadian winner and to ONE American winner!
WooHoo! To enter to win, simply leave a comment below telling me which country you are from, Canada or the United States.
(Sorry my friends from other countries, I will have a giveaway for you as well very soon!)