Are you a early education teacher looking for answers to why you need math bins or tubs for your little learners? How do you get them up and running? How many should you have? And what do you put in these math bin/tubs? If you missed out on my free webinar–here are some of the answers to your questions about these purposeful and essential Math Bins For Little Learners.
Why You Need Math Bins
Math bins are a great tool to help little learners develop their mathematical skills. These bins are filled with a variety of math manipulatives, games, and activities that can be used to engage students in fun, hands-on learning experiences. Math bins should always include activities for previously taught concepts. Here are some reasons why you should consider using math bins in your kindergarten classroom:
- Math bins provide students with opportunities to explore mathematical concepts and develop problem-solving skills in a hands-on way. Therefore, this can help to build their confidence and motivation when it comes to math.
- Using math bins allows for small group instruction in order to remediate and extend, thus meeting the needs of diverse learners.
- Little learners can work at their own pace and choose activities that match their interests and abilities.
- By using math bins, you can create a more engaging and interactive learning environment that encourages student collaboration and communication. This can help to build a stronger sense of community in your classroom.
- Math bins are easy to set up and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as independent practice, small group work, or whole class instruction.
Overall, math bins are a valuable tool for any kindergarten teacher looking to create a more engaging, hands-on and effective learning environment for their little learners.
- Begin by deciding on the location for your bins. Whether your bins are mobile or stationary, make sure they are easy for little hands to carry or manipulate. (Rainbow Drawers In The Classroom)
- Be explicit in teaching your little learners about the math bins. Show them how to use them, when to use them, and how to put them away. Reinforce this process regularly, so they get into the habit of using the math bins. The gradual release model worked best for my classroom. (I do, We do, You do.)
- Provide 2-4 activities per bin. Little learners are more apt to stay on task and complete the activity when they have the opportunity to choose an activity. You have chosen which purposeful practice activity goes into the bin, but they get to choose which one the want to complete.
- Determine how much time you have allotted for math tub time. Example: For a 70 min math time block– 5 to 7 min warm up, 17-20 min whole group lesson, 35-40 min math tub/small group session, then finally 5 to 7 min reflection and sharing. (But remember flexibility is the key!! These time slots may change due to your specific needs.)
- The system that worked well for my students was this: I had a pocket chart with each students picture with a number next to it. I then added numbers to the math bins. At math tub time, the students would go to corresponding number from the pocket chart, choose an activity from the bin and have hands-on purposeful practice. Since there was 9 tubs, I had 2 students per tub. All of the activities could be practiced with a partner but was able to be done alone if a student was absent. The extra students went to the computer station for math practice. My philosophy is-2’s company, 3’s a crowd and more than that is chaos!!!
With these simple steps, you can implement math bins into your kindergarten classroom and enhance your students’ learning experience.
Manipulatives For Math Bins
Manipulatives are imperative for fun, engaging and interactive math bins. You can use whatever you have, find in a closet, have donated, or purchase from the dollar store or Amazon. Here are some that little learners love to use.
- Dice–changing out different dice adds fun elements to the activity. Foam, large, small, colored dice, etc. Check out my Amazon Store.
- Dry erase boards
- Pattern blocks
For more Math Center tools and supplies, go to my Amazon store for my favorites.
Activities For Your Math Bins
To ensure that your little learners have successful purposeful practice of the math skills you are teaching, it’s essential to have fun and engaging hands-on activities in your math bins. These are some of my favorite activities that are both meaningful and enjoyable for little learners.
- Dice Games–must have–You can hit so many standards with dice games. (Using Dice Games For Math Practice)
- Sorting by color, shape, or size–separated trays and buttons, picture books for sorting, keys form lakeshore, pattern blocks.
- Number Id and counting–(know number name and counting sequence)- counting jars, ordering numbers
- Tactile numbers–Glue a pipe cleaner onto a piece of cardstock in the number shape.
- Punch cards–perfect for fine motor skills as well.
- Counting mats–monthly themed mats for a year long bundle.
- Counting and matching–Take pipe cleaners and attach to a number drawn on cardstock. Students then can string the number amount of pony beads on the pipe cleaner.
- Mystery Number Game
- Counting and matching– Use any fun manipulative and paper
- Pumpkin Pie Math
- Cupcake pan–Write number on the bottom of the cups. Have students put in that many manipulatives.
- Egg carton–Write number on bottom of egg cup. Add that number of manipulatives.
- Clear cups–Write a number on the outside of the cup. Students will add that number of objects to the cup.
- Ordering numbers–Trains from Lakeshore Learning
- Calendar day numbers–Grab some old calendar numbers for students to place in order.
- 10 frames
- Go noodle–10 frame
- Comparing numbers–Lakeshore Learning
- Measuring the room
More Math Activities
- Teen number
- Composing and Decomposing numbers–Use paper plates.
- Addition–**FREEBIE**Mitten addition
- Number Puzzles–Check out your local TJMaxx, Marshalls, and Ross for some great deals.
- Number Puzzles–Great for fine motor skills.
- Color By Code— Great for addition and it is year long with monthly themes.
- Subtraction Bowling–Another fun **FREEBIE**.
- French Fry Subtraction
- Ball Pit Balls–Write numbers on the balls and have students write, count, add, or order the balls.
- Counting with manipulatives
- Number recognition games
- Patterning with blocks or stickers
- Measuring with non-standard units
- Identifying shapes through play
- Addition and subtraction with objects
By incorporating these activities into your math bins, you’ll be able to create a positive and effective learning environment for your little learners.