Thursday, October 13, 2011

Creative Classroom: Recycled Poker Chips

Place value disks,
available from
My case of Math Chips,
with place value card
I recently came across these foam, color-coded-by-place-value disks. How great these would be to use with my third graders, who are learning about place value, renaming, and regrouping.

This afternoon I happened to drop by the thrift store. What should I find on the board game shelf but two cases of plastic Poker chips for 69 cents each! For a fraction of the cost of commercially-produced manipulatives, I was able to easily make my own. It only took a few minutes to write the numbers on the chips, with a Sharpie marker. I also made an accompanying place value card, for stacking the chips. So far my collection of Poker *ahem, Math* chips only has three place values, but for now that is sufficient for the 3-digit regrouping problems that my third graders are currently learning. I'm excited to see how this new manipulative will help my students to better grasp the math concepts.

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