Saturday, September 14, 2013

Home Math Learning Boxes

I love this idea and wanted to share it. My good friend who is also a brilliant teacher, Patty Carpenter, shared this idea with me. Since she does not have a blog, I figured I should share it with the world so that others could see how smart it is.  Patty is a first grade teacher and each year, her students get a Math Learning Box for home. She includes all the things kids will need to play math games, etc. at home. She starts the box with a few tools and sends new additional tools home as they need them during the year.   We took the idea and changed it a bit for 3rd grade.  Last week, we sent home these boxes with students.  This is the beginning of it and we will add things as the year progresses.  Along with this box, we are sending home a folder of the 4 math games we have played so far.  We'll also add to the folder.

I've always struggled with math homework as I tend to think playing a math game gives kids more practice, is more fun, and starts great family conversations. But kids don't always have the supplies needed at all times. This box guarantees that the things kids need to play the math games and teach them to their families are always handy. And it seems like it will be a great piece of family communication as parents learn some of the games we play at school.

The kids are as excited about these boxes as I am. They helped put them together and couldn't wait to take them home. Parents have also been very positive about the idea of this type of homework.  And knowing that kids have these things at home, I imagine they'll do more math than they've done in the past.

It is a brilliant idea and the cost of putting it together was pretty minimal.  (I kept my eye out for things like dice and decks of cards at the dollar store and on amazon over the summer.)  As we learn new things, we'll add necessary supplies to the box--it will grow as the year goes on.

One side is a Hundred Chart. The other side is a Multiplication Chart.

3 regular dice and 2 ten-sided dice (0-9)

These go home with these items as well as a few sets of game cards that students have made and stored in Ziploc bags.


  1. Anonymous9:08 AM

    What a good idea! Will pass this along to my colleagues at school.


  2. This idea is brilliant! I'm already thinking about how I can adapt it for 5th grade! Thank you for giving your friend's idea a platform so we can all benefit from her smart thinking!

  3. Love this idea! AND I know Patty. Our husbands used to work together. Sending home math games is great for homework. I often do that, but I have never created a box for the tools to use to play these games. I'm going to start gathering these things for my kids. I think parents will be very appreciative. Maybe Patty should start a blog now? :)

  4. What a great idea - would love to know what games you have taught your class so far.

  5. Fantastic idea! I use something similar in class for my students, but I love this idea to have them bring it home when working on interactive math activities!


    Table Talk with C & C

  6. Great idea--Thanks for sharing, Franki and Patty! Please share more details, as the year progresses. What ideas the kids may come up with, to add to their math boxes...Hands-on games are great math tools.

  7. Yes, what are the games you can play? Love this idea!


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