The math classroom is great place to use visuals and manipulative to enrich lesson plans. If your school has the VariQuest Poster Maker or Cutout Maker, utilize these visual learning tools to make math more interactive.
Start by using your Poster Maker to create formulas posters. The students can refer back to these static visuals in the classroom while they’re learning. By allowing them the opportunity to see these formulas over and over, they’ll have a better chance of remembering them! So, when you ask them what the volume of a cylinder is, they’ll eventually be able to rattle it off to you. An easy way to help them out is by starting each lesson with a quick review of the poster you’ve created.
Do you want to have a poster that is up year round with helpful tips? Why not create a poster with the rules for zero. Those rules can be tricky and if you’ve posted it, your students will always know whether or not zero is an even number! For younger students, they may need help distinguishing between greater than or less than. Give them a poster with a great visual to help them remember which is which!
Other great uses for the Poster Maker can be to create interactive posters. Enlarge a grid so you and your students can go back to the poster to plot points, lines and equations. By utilizing a poster, you can keep yesterday’s work up to refer back to so they can see the progression of their learning. In an elementary classroom, create a number line banner or word problem posters that they can work in during group sessions.
If your school has the Cutout Maker, take some time to review the library of shapes. Do a search by keyword, and enter “math”. There are tons of manipulatives for the math classroom. For example, try a quick math game with students by giving each student a set of cutout symbols. Ask them to show you the plus sign, equal sign and so on. Make it harder by asking that student to give you an example of an equation using that symbol, and have a second student give you the answer for bonus points!
You can also find money shapes in the cutout maker’s library. This is another great tool to have on hand for group work. Give the students word problems involving money and have them show you with the cutout money what the answer is. You could also start the lesson with a task like asking them to show you four different ways to give fifty cents for change. The money shapes are a great way to add some hands on learning to your lessons!
For older students, there are even three-dimensional shapes for geometry lessons! Have them put the shapes together and ask them what the shape is called, how many sides it has, what the angles’ degrees are, and so on. Give them rulers to measure the sides to start computing the volume.
Another trouble spot for geometry students is circles. Remembering the area and circumference of a circle may be tough. Why not give them some hands on practice by cutting out some circles for them to measure and solve. Add some string to the mix to help them understand the concept of circumference. They could actually loop the string around the cutout shape, then flatten it out to check their math. And speaking of pi, liven your room up by creating cutouts of pi’s value that spans the perimeter of the room!