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Topic: classroom necessities
Replies: 2   Last Post: Aug 20, 2003 10:37 PM

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Martha Haehl

Posts: 135
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: classroom necessities
Posted: Aug 20, 2003 10:37 PM
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I use a lot of cheap manipulatives. I get a lot of mileage out of poker chips. The white and red ones I use for pennies and dimes along with paper printouts of $1-, $10-, $100, $1000, $10000 bills to introduce place value and concepts of addition and subtraction. I also use different colors of poker chips (or poker chips along with cardboard squares) to represent different variables and to introduce like terms and the distributive and associative laws.

They also make a good prop to introduce the concept of ratios, ratios written fraction form and in decimal form and sampling. 3 boxes of red-blue-white poker chips fits nicely in a large empty peanut container. Each group can scoup out a handful and write various ratios from their sample. The ratios expressed in decimal form offer a good way to compare how the ratios vary from sample to sample. The average of all of the groups ratios invariably come close to the actual ratio of red to white, white to total, etc. ratios of the entire canister of poker chips. (The boxes of poker chips generally come with 25 red, 25 blue, and 50 white chips, so I don't have to count the props as I used to do when I used red and white beans to know how many of each are in the entire population.)

I would also use graph paper for a number of things. I have made up large square grid paper for students who have difficulty lining numbers up when doing arithmetic. One version has darker lines around 10 x 10 grids. Students who have difficulty with visualizing my use the grid paper to draw shapes made of more than one rectangle to see how to determine the lengths of sides not given. Students with severe difficulty with the times tables can use the 10 x 10 grids to lay out a 7 x 8 grid, for example, then move squares (or objects on the squares) from the bottom rows to fill out the top rows until they have 5 completed rows of 10 with 6 left over. Graph paper has a lot of uses.

I also use plastic circular lids and masking tape for students to measure circumference and diameter. They can cut the tape to be the length of the circumference and another piece to be the length of the diameter, then stick both to the board and measure the lengths and label the lengths. Then the different groups calculate circumference/diameter. Students are generally surprised that all of the group's answers, no matter the size of the circle come out to be about the same.


Martha Haehl
Penn Valley Community College
3201 S.W. Trafficway
Kansas City, MO 64111
>>> 08/20/03 17:11 PM >>>
Thanks for the great ideas I've been receiving about what is essential
for an Adult Ed classroom. In Ohio, we have Math Kick-Off Days every
year (thank you Massachusetts for planting the seeds of THAT idea.) We
have purchased and distributed so very many different kinds of
matierlas/books/etc. throughout the years. I hope to hear from more of
you, as to what YOU personally would recommend, buy, scrounge for your
own adult ed classroom.--what you really use in the classroom.

I hear manipulatives over and over, but am wondering what specific ones
YOU really use.

Thanks again.

Nancy Markus
Ohio Literacy Resource Center

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