## Spotlight On: Counting Fingers Hand Book

Need a few extra fingers to count with? These hand-sized books make perfect math manipulatives!

Each page is printed in fleshtone colors with foldable fingers to use as a math manipulative. Use the pages to practice numbering, writing out equations or for math journaling. Each book has a card stock front and back cover along with 10 pages and measures 4 x 4½ (10 x 11.5 cm). Fold down the fingers just like you would curl in your own fingers to represent numbers! For example, if you want to show the number 2 with your hand book, fold down the thumb, ring and pinkie fingers on one hand. You can also fold down all but the pointer fingers on two pages.

Make math facts concrete by folding down fingers and writing the math facts on the palms!

These books are also great for early learners! There are a lot of different ways to write out 4, so match the fingers with the words and symbols!

Make a unique “All About Me” book with a numeracy theme! Start with a self portrait, and fill each page with numbered favorites.

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## Guest Post: Straws and Connectors, Autumn Leaves Paper Bits and Dry Erase Classroom Tunics

Here’s a sneak peek at a few ways our creative crafters used some of our products! All these photos were sent in to us by people who would love to share their ideas. So take a look around, and get acquainted with some projects you could use in your own educational space!

Our first few photos show how the Straws and Connectors were used for building large and tall structures that the kids could climb inside of. We provide each kit of Straws and Connectors with a reference guide for building these kinds of structures and more! Use the diagrams as a basis for designing your own creations.

We used the Straws and Connectors structures as the inner designs for our Color Diffusing buildings. We painted large sheets of Color Diffusing Paper with watercolors. Once the sheets were dry, we wove them in and out of the gaps in the design. Check out the beautiful photos of this project at the link!

These gorgeous wreaths were made with our Autumn Leaves Paper Bits! The clever design used a card wreath cutout. The crafters then glued the leaves on top. Alternatively, you could use a paper plate and cut out the center to use as the wreath base.

The video below shows a basic project you can try with the Autumn Leaves. This simple craft uses construction paper and the leaves to make a 3D-looking tree.

Finally, our last photo reveals what this teacher decided to use her pack of Dry Erase Classroom Tunics for! Although the Classroom Tunics can be used for temporary notation–such as using dry-erase markers to write numbers or letters on them–there are many other uses for them! For instance, this teacher laminated circles in different colors and pasted them onto various Classroom Tunics. Using a story about introducing the colors of the rainbow, she had several of her students act out the storyline while wearing the tunics. It’s a great way to engage the class on multiple levels–learning literacy, colors, order and sequencing, and group collaboration!

Thanks to our subscribers for sending us photos of their work! If you would like to send us your photos in order to be featured in our next Guest post, please contact us through the contact form! We’d love to hear from you!

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## Light Cube: Math Straws

Explore mathematics on the Light Cube using simple items you can find at your local department store or dollar store! The Light Cube will focus students’ attention as they manipulate the materials to build skills in early numeracy!

In this edition of Light Cube lessons, we’ve decided to focus on counting and sorting. To do this, you will need a package of clear colorful straws, some transparent numbered stickers and 10 clear plastic drinking cups.

First, we tacked down our stickers to the Light Cube. The stickers we found are numbered 1-10 so you can explore counting in different quantities, or for advanced learning, develop skills in skip-counting. We’ve decided to skip-count by the number 2. This is a great starting point for discussing the differences between odd and even numbers.

You can additionally create your own stickers by using clear scotch tape and writing numbers on the tape with permanent marker. Paste down the tape onto the Light Cube. Tip: If you own a Light Cube tray, you can use write the numbers directly onto the tray with dry-erase markers.

Ask your students to pick out the same number of straws as the numbers indicated on the Light Cube. Place the straws you’ve picked out directly onto the Light Cube underneath each number.

Once we had explored the basics of skip-counting, we moved onto bigger numbers. You can mix the digits to make these larger numbers. To contain the larger number of straws, use the clear cups.

To reinforce your students’ counting skills, mix up a random amount of straws into each cup and ask the student to correct to the proper amount. They must either add or subtract the straws.

To take students’ learning one step further, ask them to imagine that each straw has a certain value, such as 2. Therefore, each straw represents the number 2. If you have labeled a cup as the number 6, students will have to place 3 straws inside the cup to reach the right amount.

The glow of the Light Cube is a great base for exploring abstract mathematical concepts as students are focused on the materials they work with.

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