Sunday, April 8, 2012

Springtime...or Anytime Sorting!

Little people love hands on learning....we all know that! I am always looking for cute, and inexpensive ways to make a quality activity that occupies little hands, and engages little minds to the fullest. Besides the Dollar Tree, Michael's Craft Store would be my next favorite place to gather items for my classroom. Often, I can find many things under $5.00 - and even in the dollar bins. The closest Michael's craft store is 45 minutes away from me (notice I charted the distance in minutes, not miles---a Michigander for sure!)---so I always make the most out of every trip.

I found these great little boxes (unpainted) for $1.00. It took very little paint to make them bright cheerful colors. Just a couple of aisles over, I found great little wooden pieces in a variety of types (trees, umbrellas, cars, animals, etc.)---already painted for about .25 each! The larger ones were just a tad more. A steal of a deal that I could not pass up. I knew my students would love them!

So----immediately, I thought----SORTING! 

These are just a few of the sorting pieces---I have lots for students to use.

I used wood glue to attach the larger wooden pieces to the front of the boxes. The smaller wooden pieces did not need any extra work from me! Perfect!

I found a little flower box that holds all the small wooden sorting pieces - and this activity stays at my math center all the time. Students come back to it time and time again---and it's such an easy visual for me to walk by and see if pieces are getting dropped in the correct boxes while students use this at free choice time. If not, I can pop over and offer a little assistance right away.

I hope you have found this activity useful, and an inexpensive way to add a FUN fine motor/visual discrimination activity to your math center! You could also make this a beginning sound sort for your ABC Center! There were many more types of wooden pieces available.

What is YOUR favorite teaching materials to pick up from your local craft store?

Drop me a comment, I'd love to know! 

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