Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bright Ideas: Magnetic Manipulatives & Shower Rings

I absolutely LOVE the monthly Bright Ideas Blog Hop & I am so excited to be part of it again this month! There are so many great ideas out there, and teachers are among the most brilliant folks I've ever met.

Saving money in my classroom is something I TRY very hard to do. It's not easy and I know I spend so much every year on things I really want...and of course, the items that I think my students can really use and benefit from.

One thing that I find to be so expensive are math manipulatives!  While I have tubs of them at school, the one thing I always want are those kind that I can use on my white board....the magnetic ones!!  They're pricey, though...and for most teachers, we have tiny budgets, big ideas, and long wish lists!

This year, I decided to make my own magnetic manipulatives with the help of these handy-dandy adhesive magnets.  They are super thin, very afforable, and they stick right to the back of anything you've got!
You can get 100 for less than $5, and if you search the web, you can get a bushel of them for super cheap.  
I love that they are so thin I can cut them to fit onto just about anything, like these Base Ten blocks!

Having magnetic Unifix Cubes has been a lifesaver in our math lessons.  The kids have their own sets at their desk, of course, but being able to actually use them on the board has been awesome!

We also use of lot of two-sided counters, especially in RTI groups. These really give the kids a great visual for composing and decomposing numbers.

My kids always love working with counting bears. They love making addition and subtraction stories with these little guys.  {Don't mind the messy board.... do white boards ever come completely clean??}

I have been sticking these little  magnets to just about everything. Having manipulatives that I can actually MANIPULATE with my students has been great!!

Another BRIGHT IDEA comes from Instagram. I'm not sure of the actual original source, so if it's you, please let me know!  

One more item I tend to sink a lot of money in to is binder rings for sight words,math flashcards, etc...
Those things are expensive...and my kids are always losing them.

I saw this fabulous idea and just had to run with it..... shower hooks!!
Not only are they crazy cheap - you get 12 for $1 - they actually work SO much better than those binder rings.  More cards fit on the ring, and the kids are able to move them around so much easier.

Genius, I tell you!!

So, that's it for me this month!! I hope you can use some of these ideas in your classroom. Don't forget to check out these other amazing bloggers and their ideas!! 

If you liked this idea, please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more useful tips for the classroom. Just click the icons at the top of the page!  Thanks for stopping by! :)
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  1. Great ideas and pics. Pinned! Smiles, Jayne
    Smart Kids

  2. Great ideas! Putting the adhesive magnet strips on the backs of the manipulatives would make things so much easier! That is great about the shower hooks too. The skinny part would make them easy to hang up somewhere too!
    Conversations in Literacy

  3. Those rings would be so much easier for my firsties to hold onto! And they are easy on the budget too!

    I've used adhesive magnets before, but never thought of adding them to all these manipulatives! Those bears are so fun! Adding this to my summer list :-)

  4. Those ideas are genius. Such a simple idea to put magnets on the back of manipulatives but it makes so much sense to have a magnetic set of all the manipulatives that you use so the kids can see them on the board. Pinning that idea for sure.

    Sara J Creations

  5. I have to do this with some unifix cubes today!!!!!! I could make that a station for guided math time! LOVE IT!


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