Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Squinkies Make Fun Little Math Manipulatives!

One of our favorite math manipulatives are Squinkies! Among their many uses, they are perfect for making Singapore Math stories. If you have a child who loves these little plastic critters as much as Tessa, you know it doesn't take long to accumulate a couple hundred of them. While preparing lessons that require making math stories, I simple riffle through our Squinkies bin and match up a few handfuls that are easy to group into stories.

Tessa loves using Squinkies as math manipulatives!

Right now, Tessa's working on learning subtraction facts. The seven Squinkies above easily make several different subtraction stories.

There are seven animals. Four are dogs. Three are cats.  7 - 4 = 3
There are seven animals. Three are blue. Four are pink.  7 - 3 = 4
There are seven animals. One is a baby. Six are adults. 7 - 1 = 6
There are seven animals. Two are wearing hats. Five are not wearing hats.  7 - 2 = 5

Pretty fun, eh? Next time you dig one of these guys out of the couch and threaten to throw the whole lot in the trash, toss them into your math bin instead. We also use the over-sized balls that came as part of the Squinkies McDonald's Happy Meal toys as quick containers to hold the groups of regular-sized Squinkies that we use as math manipulatives.

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