Thanks for taking a look at my Monster Math & Play Dough Mats. These full-color mats are a great tool for working with your young students on 1:1 counting, identifying numerals, and many other early math skills.
What You’ll Need for the Math Mats:
1) Mats printed out and laminated.
2) Some type of eyes to count out onto the mats.
3) Dice or number cards.
Here’s are some ideas for using your Monster Mats:
1) Free Exploration: To promote learning in your students through free exploration with the math mats, provide each child with a monster math mat and a container full of eyes. Let them play with the eyes and put them on the board as they wish. While they are doing this, lead their learning with appropriate questions:
Oh, there are a lot of eyes on your monster. How many eyes are there?
Are there more eyes on your monster, or on Johnny’s monster?
How many more eyes do you think will fit on that monster? Let’s put that many on and see if they fit.
2) A Multi-Player game: Taking Turns Placing Eyes on the Monsters: Give each child a mat and a set number of eyes (such as 10 or 20). Students take turns rolling the dice and putting the coordinating number of eyes on the monster. If you want a child to win, let the first player to place of all of their eyes the winner. Another possibility instead of dice is having the students draw number cards to show how many eyes to put on.
3) Assessment: To assess students’ understanding of numbers, ask them to put a certain number of eyes on the monster, and check their work for accuracy. Check their counting (for assessment) and work together to correct if necessary. Or you can use the monster mats with the numbers printed on them for this purpose.
4) Writing Numerals: A step further in the developmental numeration process is to provide students with pieces of paper or sticky-backed notes to write down the number of how many manipulatives are on each board. This can be done either in a structured group game, or during free play.
You can also use these mats with play dough! You can follow any of the ideas mentioned above using play dough, or you can put the mats and dough out for free play.