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    an idea
    By jackee

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    I totally understand your frustrations...while I am a first year teacher I have dealt with it too..
    one thing I find useful is ziplock bags..
    it helps to divide man. before hand so that it is easy to hand out. I also have found that when handing out man. let the kids play for about 5 minutes if its something new..bc they need that time to experiement..then tell them that they need to follow directions and show they can use them correctly or they will NOT get them...
    I am doing money right now and what I did to save time is buy 6 plastic containers...like a buck a piece..I pre divide the man. up and so handing them out is easy. I tell them not to touch them till I give a direction (find 25 cents) and so on. I call them on it and if a student is playing I take them away...it normally only takes one to set the point in to them...
    One other thing...
    I do calendar math...I have a worksheet for each week day by day with 5 problems that we have been working on...patterning...adding..sub. they do that first thing. I invite those who have difficulty to go the math man. area (where I have blocks and stuff in ziplock bags) and borrow them to figure out the problems. I think that kids learn in different ways so one may draw a picture while another will count blocks while another may use their number line...either way it allows them to be familiar with the man and the correct way to use them...
    I know that manipulatives take extra time but keep it up it will get better and I think it is the best way to truly allow kids to learn to think and learn...
    GOOD LUCK...
    keep me posted...


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