Teach Through Toys: Move & Learn Math Activity Mats

Teach Through Toys: Move & Learn Math Activity Mats

Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary, Upper Elementary
Description: This set of “activity mats” contains large circular mats that can be spread around a room. Each mat has a number 0-9, and there are two of each number. The set also contains rules for ten different games you can play with the mats. The games practice a broad range of skills including multiplication skills, place value, and subtraction.
Modifications: All of the games in this set are designed for grades 1-4. However, it is quite simple to modify the activities for lower level learners. For example, you can have your students order the mats from smallest to largest, jump to a number that is more or less than the one the student is currently standing on, have your student find a number you have just named, or give your students objects to count out and place on each number (placing four cars on the number four.) For higher level learners, you can practice algebraic thinking by responding to questions such as “5 x __ = 20″ or fractions by responding to questions such as “Jump to the denominator for the fraction 3/5.”
For students working on interacting with peers, I will have the student give directions to a peer (such as “Jump to a number that is bigger than four.” and respond to directions from the peer. Depending on the student’s skill level, I will have them generate their own directions or I will provide directions for them to engage in the interaction.
Skills: Number Identification, Sequencing, Comparing Numbers, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Algebraic Thinking, Gross Motor Skills, Listening Skills, Manding
Pros: The biggest pro is that you can easily modify the materials for any skill level. I also love that you can practice such a wide range of math skills with a gross motor activity. This is great for your learners who struggle with maintaining attention, remaining seated during instruction, or holding a pencil. You can also play with more than one student, but easily differentiate it based on each student’s goals. This is especially great when working with siblings.
Cons: It is somewhat limiting to only have mats that go up to 9.
Cost: My set it discontinued. Should I buy this? However, Lakeshore Learning has a set that does have the numbers 1-20 with game cards. It is $40, which is a bit steep but you can create this game on your own. If it is a tool you think you will use frequently, it may be worth it to make the purchase because the mats are motivating for students, they are durable, and they have a non-slip surface on the bottom. Lakeshore also now has this product which has a variety of materials for gross motor activities involving math skills.
ABLLS: R6, R7, R8, R9, R10, R13, R14, R17, R18, R20, R29
VB-MAPP: Listener Responding 8, Social Behavior 9, Social Behavior 10, Math 11, Math 12, Math 14, Math 15

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  1. My students would really love these math mats! I used index cards taped to the floor earlier in the year to teach skip counting by 2s. It was very, very simple and basic, but they loved jumping on the cards and counting. . . and it got them up and moving, which they really enjoyed. Thanks for this great suggestion.


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