What math tools help students?

What math tools do your students use?  Not sure what math tools help students?

Let me help. What math tools help students to visualize the math?  My idea of math tools  are concrete, hands-on ways for students to practice math concepts.  These ideas cause the student to become active learners as they practice and visualize the math concepts.  These math tools can be used in small guided math groups, number talks, and/or individual practice.

It includes ten frames, fractions circles, number lines, part/part/whole mats, and number bonds.  These math tools for guided math would be for primary grades.

For upper elementary and middle school, there are fraction circles, graph paper for making arrays or showing multiplication of fractions, multiplication arrays, algebra tiles, and open number lines.

Open number lines sometimes confuse teachers because they don’t always have the marks on them.  One way to use them is for students in first or second grade to put three numbers on them in order from least to greatest.  The students can put the number marks on them.  Eventually the students spatially begin to put the marks as close or as far apart as they need to be.

In upper elementary, these open number lines can be used to order fractions, decimals, or even add with negative numbers.  I use them to show rounding whole numbers.  Students use the number line to put the two end marks and write the two tens or hundreds or whatever place value we are rounding to on them.  Then they mark the middle and write the middle number.  The question to ask next is… “Is your number less than halfway or greater than halfway?”  Students can then plot the dot for their number and visually see which hundreds it is closer to.  Eventually students can draw their own number line and learn to use this math tool anytime they need to…like on a test:)

Math Tools Pinterest board at Guided Math with Angela Bauer


I hope this answers your question…What math tools help students?