If you are a teacher, you probably are addicted to the Target Dollar Spot like I am!!  So many great things in one spot and I typically *need* all of it!!  Right now Target has a lot of patriotic themed items in the Dollar Spot.  As soon as I saw the red, white and blue star erasers they had, I knew that I needed them and could use them for math manipulatives!  
Now you just need to run to Target (as if you needed an excuse to go shopping!) and grab up these erasers!  
I came up with three different "Stars and Spinners Math" activities that you could use with your students to go along with the red, white, and blue star erasers.  One is a graphing activity, one is an addition activity, and one is a subtraction activity.  The subtraction activity is like the Superhero Math activity I recently shared about.  You can grab that FREE download here.
For the graphing mat, students spin the star spinner ten times.  After each spin, they lay that color star on the graph.  After they have spun the spinner ten times, they count how many red, white, and blue stars are on the graph and record the number in that color star under the "My Data" spot on the mat.  If they are working with a partner, they can share which was greater, less, and if any were equal.  You could also have your students write about their data from the graph. 
For the addition mat, students spin the 1-5 spinner and then spin the red, white, and blue star spinner.  The 1-5 spinner tells how many stars to put on the ten frame and the star spinner tells the color star to put on the ten frame.  For example, if students spins the number 2 and the blue star, they would put 2 blue star erasers on the ten frame.  Students repeat that step and then lay those stars on the ten frame.  Then students record the addition equation.
For the subtraction mat, students spin the 6-10 spinner and lay out that many stars on the ten frame.  Then they spin the 1-5 spinner and take away that many stars from the ten frame.  Students then record the subtraction equation.  
These activities would be perfect to use around Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Election Day, or Presidents Day.  They would make great activities for math stations once your students are familiar with them and can do them independently.  
To grab your FREE download of the Stars and Spinners Math activities, just click the image below! 
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We recently had a STEAM Night at our school.  This is a fun family event where Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math are all incorporated into one night.  Each grade level is in a classroom and chooses one of the STEAM components to share with families.  We decided to do a math "make and take" where students could make their own Rekenrek to take home. 
 If you aren't familiar with Rekenreks, they are an amazing math tool to use with your students.  They are hands-on and they help your students see numbers in groups of 5 and 10.  There are two rows with 10 beads.  In each row of 10 beads there are 5 red beads and 5 white beads.  I like to use them for counting, adding, subtracting, solving word problems, etc.  They are also great for subitizing.  The kids are always so engaged when using them because they love being able to move the beads from one side to the other.  

Here are some of the ways students can see the numbers on a Rekenrek...

As you can see, Rekenreks can really help students build strong number sense in the primary grades.  The concept of 10 is such an important math skill and Rekenreks really help with that.
Making your own Rekenrek is actually really simple!  I picked up everything to make them at Michaels: foam sheets, black pipe cleaners, red beads, and white beads.  At our STEAM Night, we set up all of the materials on the table.  The kids just had to push the pipe cleaner through the foam sheet and then string the beads on.  They did this for each row.  The pipe cleaner just folds back behind the foam sheet.  

In addition to the materials to make the Rekenreks, we also had math facts cards and a handout for families to take on the table at our STEAM Night.  It was a hit and the kids who made them were so excited about taking them home!

I shared the image of the Rekenrek handout on my Instagram and had a lot of interest in it so I am posting it on here as a FREE download!  It's great to use if you are having a STEAM Night, STEM Night, Math Night, Family Night, etc. and want a fun math "make and take" for students to take home.  Just click the image below to grab your FREE Rekenrek information sheet!
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I love to teach math and I love to use literature when teaching math.  I was recently sorting through my big books and came across the book, Ten Little Puppies.  It's a cute story and it's a subtraction story.  The story starts with 10 puppies and a puppy leaves on each page to go do something so the book lends itself to talking about subtracting one.  My students loved listening to what the puppy was going to do on each page.  I came up with a dog bone subtraction story problem that went along with the Ten Little Puppies book for my students.
After we read Ten Little Puppies, I modeled the activity for my students.  We read the problem several times and talked about each part of the problem.
Each of my students got 10 dog bones.

This is an open-ended problem so they were able to decide how many bones the puppy had.  Ten was the most that they puppy could have. 
They were also able to decide how many dog bones the puppy ate.  They crossed off a dog bone to show the bones that the puppy ate.  We did talk about how a puppy or a dog shouldn't eat too many dog bones since they are treats! :)
Then they had to fill in the numbers and determine how many bones were left.  They also recorded the equation to match their story problem and picture.
I just think they turned out so cute and they had so much fun doing this activity!

If you want to try this with your students, just click the image below to grab your FREE download! 
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