***Dry Erase Boards
Productivity, attentiveness, and learning always increase when I allow students to use personal dry erase boards and markers. They are affordable to make for a small group or the entire class. The boards are made from melamine boards found at your favorite home improvement store. Melamine boards are sold in sheets, 4 ft by 8 ft. Ask someone at the store to cut them in sizes of your choice. If you cut them into 12 in. by 12 in. boards, you will make 32 personal mini boards. Use duct tape to cover the edges of the boards. Duct tape is available in assorted colors such as red, blue, yellow, green and even purple. If you do not need 32 mini boards, consider making larger boards for teaching purposes or for small groups. I have made 2 ft. by 2 ft. boards and used duct tape to divide it into four smaller squares. You could also divide it into columns.
Erasers and Markers
Both of these can be purchased from the dollar store. Some dollar stores carry the markers with mini erasers attached to them. Wash cloths or paper towels can serve as erasers too.
Use sheet protectors to reuse worksheets while working with small groups. Students like them because they get to use markers to work the problems. Water based markers work well. Use a spray bottle filled with water to clean the protective sheet. Dry erase markers are okay to use, but they tend to erase prematurely. Also, the water based markers are more cost effective.
Locate old puzzles around the house or buy them from a garage sale. The objective for this idea is to practice number sequence. If you want to practice counting to 100, use a 100 piece puzzle. Initially, an adult should assemble the puzzle. Turn the puzzle over. Next, number each piece going from left to right. In this example, write numbers from one to a hundred. If you wanted to practice counting by fives, then number accordingly. After you have numbered the puzzle, break it apart. Let the child assemble the puzzle by putting the numbers in order. Turn it over to reveal the awesome picture and smile on the childís face.
***Toy Food and Small Toys
The objective of this idea is to work problems without using worksheets. Write numbers on the bottom of the toys. Place the food on a tray. Pretend to be a waiter and ask student to choose a food. In the case of the small toys, place them on a shelf in a pretend toy store. Give the student the problem which corresponds with the number on the food or toy until all problems are worked, If you wish, you can give the students a few minutes to play with the toys at the end of class.
Note: The problems are written or typed on either on index cards or on ľ sheet of paper. Lamination will give the paper or index cards a longer life. Itís a good idea to make multiple copies of the problems.