Top 5 Teacher Must Haves: #5

Each day this week, I have been sharing one of my top 5 teacher must-have items. These are items that make my teacher life easier, my classroom more organized, and my time more efficient. In case you missed the previous posts, you will want to catch up on items #1-4 {HERE}, {HERE}, {HERE}, and {HERE}.

 #5 Cheap & Easy Center Materials
{Affiliate Links Below}

Math centers can become super expensive really quickly, especially if you switch them out often. This is why it's important to use some staple items that you may already own or that you can get for a fairly reasonable price that will work for the majority of your math centers. These items are also very durable and will hold up well over time. Most of them allow for EASY differentiation as well - so important!
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First, I like to use a variety of dice. I purchased the bundle of dice shown below. This bundle of dice has many, many variations. You will find dice that are 0-9, 1-10, 1-6, 1-20, and MORE! This makes it extremely easy to differentiate your math centers. Students can use the set of dice that will have them working at their individual ability levels - EASY PEASY differentiation! You can find this gigantic collection of dice at my affiliate link {HERE}. They are well worth the money and probably my most-used classroom item for math centers.

You can always use regular dice with dots as well. They're great for subitizing with the younger students. The yellow foam dice are a teacher's dream for making math centers quiet! The blank dice are always a really neat option. You can write on stickers and then put the stickers on the dice to make them customized for whatever skill you need at the time. You can also write directly on the blank dice, which is nice. You can find these dice by clicking on my affiliate links below:
Standard Dice (100 pack):

If you have lots of spinner games or centers, these transparent spinners are a MUCH better option than the paperclip/pencil method. As you can see in the picture, I like to differentiate my spinners with Astrobrights colored paper also. The students know which color spinner they should be working with when they come to the center - EASY PEASY differentiation again! You can find the transparent spinners at my affiliate link {HERE} and the Astrobrights colored paper {HERE}.

Also, let's not forget about regular old playing cards! They are super cheap and easy to replace. They also allow for differentiation. For example, you might have some students building 2-digit numbers to add together, while others are building 3- or 4-digit numbers to add or subtract. You can also pull out the cards you don't want/need the students to use. Once again, EASY differentiation of a math center! You can find a large set of playing cards at my affiliate link {HERE}.

Finally, to prepare math centers and/or cards quickly and easily, I always use my Swingline paper cutter. This one is durable and will cut through up to 10 sheets of paper at once. I keep one at home and one at school for convenience! You can check out the one I own shown below at my affiliate link {HERE}.

I hope I have given you some cheap and easy ideas for math centers. For your ease of use, I'm providing my affiliate links to the items above in a comprehensive list below. This wraps up my Top 5 Teacher Must-Haves blog series. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to follow along with me on my Facebook Page and Instagram for more classroom tips and tricks!

{Affiliate Links}
Swingline Paper Cutter

You can check out my 2nd Grade Math Centers blog post {HERE} to see how I utilize the above materials in my math center rotations.

1 comment

  1. Dice and cards are ALWAYS my go to! I absolutely love the idea of the transparent spinners. So versatile, I may just need to get me some.

    ♥ Stephanie