Longing for some bling to accessorize your math instruction? These bracelets may be the perfect solution! All you'll need are pipe cleaners and plastic beads to jazz up your child's math fact practice in a sensory friendly way. Try them out in two variations:
One Color Variation:
Take 5, 10 or 20 beads of one color (the number of beads will depend on the age or skill needs of the child and the facts he/she is practicing). As the child says the fact aloud, he/she moves the beads to form the combinations or, if subtracting, the differences. The one color bead method allows you to work on different facts with one bracelet rather than several by pulling to one side the total number of beads needed. If, for example, your child is working on facts through 10, I would recommend a 10 bead bracelet. With that, the child can separate the number of beads needed and work with just those. In addition to math practice, this will be good for visual integration by helping the child practice quickly identifying groups of numbers.
Two Color Variation:
If working on 10 combinations, you will want six different bracelets. One will have 10 beads of one color with which to practice 10+0=10 and 0+10=10. The remaining bracelets will have two colors of beads in the following combinations - 1 and 9, 2 and 8, 3 and 7, 4 and 6, and 5 and 5. With these, your child will be able to practice 1+9=10, 9+1=10, 2+8=10, 8+2=10, 3+7=10, 7+3=10, 4+6=10, 6+4=10, and 5+5=10. Although this second variation requires more bracelets than the first, it adds a visual component of color to the multi-sensory learning.
Not only are math bracelets a great way to create a tactile and kinesthetic teaching tool, they will provide practice with fine motor skills if you have the child make his/her own bracelets. Place them in zippered baggies or use ring clasps to organize and hang them when not in use.
Of course, you can always wear them, too!