So I know that when it comes to blog posts, it sounds so much niceer to say “The top 5 . . .” or “The 10 best . . .” But, try as I might, I could only find four math manipulatives, out of the many that I own, that I can look you in the eye and say, “It is SO worth spending your hard-earned money on this for first grade.” And, after all, that is what I’m here for–buying things so you don’t have to–or, actually, honesty. I’m here to be honest with you about what brings the most value to your homeschool, even if that means I don’t have a number 5 for my list.
There are many other math manipulatives/resources I would say are invaluable to have for first grade. But they are free printables or DIY items that I will share in another post. Here, I want to share a few items that I would suggest going ahead and making the purchase for. They have gone the distance time and time again. And I can honestly say they have made imparting the skills and concepts necessary so much easier that I would have paid much more for them.
These old-fashioned fridge magnets are so useful! Mine include letters too and all of the pertinent +, -, x, /, and = signs. But we mostly use just the numbers themselves. I found they were best for:
- rearranging numbers into proper order (ascending or descending),
- demonstrating number triangles and the interrelationship numbers in a given addition/subtraction fact (2+3=5, 3+2=5, 5-3=2, and 5-2=3),
- calling out a two or three digit number and having the child form it.