When I started my first teaching job, my classroom furniture had been ordered, but not delivered. I got to pick out and order most of my supplies…but none of it came until well after the school year began. I had to put together a make shift kindergarten classroom at first. I had centers made from cardboard boxes, donated books and toys- I scavenged the halls and snatched up what other teachers left behind.

I have also traveled to Haiti several times and visited classrooms there where no materials are to be found. They don’t have cute little decorations or centers or manipulatives. They make do with what they have.

I would love to be able to go to the nearest school supply store and buy up all the great stuff they have that will surely enhance my childrens’ learning… But we are in a chapter of our lives where we just aren’t afforded that luxury. Instead, I am forced to look at what we have and make do or go without!

We are working on patterns this week. I took a couple of egg cartons and a few handfuls of various pastas from the pantry and put together a lesson on patterns! The kids loved it!

The pasta will also be used for our lesson on sorting and classifying next week.

Other household items that can be used in teaching math:
– fruit loops
– buttons
– stickers
– measuring spoons/ cups
– dried beans
– bottle tops
– nuts and bolts
– keys

The list could go on and on!

I enjoy school supply stores. I loved teaching in a fully stocked classroom! I think those things are great to have… But I am not going to let not having them right now put a damper on our schooling!

Money Saving Math Manipulatives

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