Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Number Stations: Using Anything for Math Manipulatives to Explore Patterns

In this game students use two colors (to begin with, but you can increase this amount later) of any kind of math manipulative. In this case we are using unifix cubes to make different patterns with the number of the day. They make their own discoveries with patterns, invariance of number, counting and thinking logically.

On another day, they wanted to explore the number "5," and they wanted to use goldfish, but we only had one color of them, so instead of arranging patterns, their task was to arrange 5 goldfish in various different ways. In this way they can get an idea of what 5 looks like in various arrangements.

It is interesting to see how this game can continue to keep interest as they make new discoveries with different amounts of materials. We vary the types of materials as well.

Sam and James showed the concept that 7 is an odd number by showing two sets of 3, with the odd man out in the middle.

James showed the concept that we naturally can only mentally conceive of 5 and then after that branch off to adding more to 5. He had a row of 5 with 2 branching off, or 5 +2=7

Quentin is most comfortable with the number 4. Even though often he can successfully count to 10, he still becomes unsure after 4, so he split his 7 in 4+3=7

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