The Math Learning Center has an amazing new set of freebies. The Number Rack App can by downloaded from the iApp Store in iTunes -OR- used as a free Web application.
The moveable beads work with counting as well as addition and subtraction strategies. You can also download a free activity/lesson book to use along with it. I'm interested in trying it with subitizing.
This could be used at home or in the classroom with individual children or with a large group lesson. Read more about it here.
1. The "unit" is a dinosaur. Specifically, a seismosaurus. Kids need to understand that a "unit" can be flexible. In this book, everything is measured in terms of a dinosaur unit.
2. The book depicts increasingly smaller measurements. If a dinosaur is worth 1, then a dinosaur shrunk to 1/10 will fit in the front yard. It talks about various other tenths, like a dime being a tenth of a dollar. It shows both decimals and the fraction equivalent.
3. The numbers creatively get smaller, each time decreasing by powers of ten. For example... 1/10,000 is an ant. 1/1,000,000 is an amoeba. Some kids will be very intrigued by the exponents, which are also included.
4. The book is big (13 x 8") and good with crowds.
If you teach decimals or fractions, I recommend it!
I cut one square of black posterboard and two strips of white posterboard. You could use any brad, but I happened to have tiny ones for scrapbooking, so I used those to anchor the white strips to the black background. (I just poked a tiny hole all the way through the two layers of paper and then shoved the brad through.) I then put a piece of packing tape on the back of the brads so they wouldn't scratch my whiteboard. I grabbed an advertising magnet off my fridge (you know,...the kind you get in the mail), cut it in half, and glued one strip to each side of the back of the black posterboard. And voila...a greater than/less than/equal to tool to use on my whiteboard.
You could use it with any magnet...including regular magnetic math manipulatives. The above photo shows a problem before it's solved, using base ten pieces. Then all the child needs to do is pivot the white strips to show greater than, less than, or equal to.