I decided I could finally begin tackling my school to-do list. Except I still can't find it. And, if I could, the following project wasn't on the list. I know.
But I started it. And now I don't want to finish it.
See, the thing is . . . we use enVision math.
The program either came with math manipulatives or we bought them. I don't know which. However you look at it, I have math manipulatives. I know. I'm a lucky girl.
We got counters, clocks, pattern blocks, money, tens and ones, etc. etc. etc. And we got cubes.
The biggest problem I faced with my supplies was that they came in a huge ziplock bag - one for each kid. Each bag contained all of the manipulatives each student would need. It made complete sense to me. Give the first grader their bag at the beginning of the year and tell them not to touch the tens and ones. Or the money. Or the clocks. Because that's second and third trimester. Don't touch it. Don't lose it. Hang on to it, though, because I only have this many and there's no more where that came from.
Uh, yeah. Not happening. I couldn't do it.
I have what my therapist (aka chocolate and wine) likes to call "control issues".
So I dismantled all of the bags.
And I bought tubs.
And I made 2x4 labels.
Of course.Math Manipulatives Labels
And I organized all the cubes together, all the counters together, and so on. And when we need those supplies, I get out the tub and we use them. And when the lesson or unit is over, I collect it. It has nothing to do with germs. Or vomit. That only happened once. Yes. For real. ALL OVER some manipulative money. And the desk. And the chair. And himself. And the little girl across from him. I was quick. I got out of the way. Every man for himself, I always say.
Anywho, this whole manipulatives-in-tubs thing really works for me.
Except the cubes.
The cubes have bothered me since day one.
It's not usually that messy. I've been messing with it which has made it messier.
But do you see those packs? Each pack has 20 cubes.
And they're all different colors. DIFFERENT colors. That, my friends, is called a CUBE CRISIS.
Because almost every lesson says to divide your cubes into TWO color trains. TWO. That's hard enough for my kids who can't even get the cubes OUT OF THEIR BAG. True story. And it's even harder for my kids who can't get the cubes UNSNAPPED from each other. True that. And now, once we've gotten through both of those hurdles and built guns (Stop that. That's not appropriate at school.) and made houses (Yes, I love it.) and created a dog (That is so cute.), now we have to make TWO color trains.
That's a little impossible to do when each bag that came with the program (Not that it's the program's fault - I'm just pointing out that I didn't do it this way because I am, in fact, a TEACHER and not a textbook writer or creator or what-have-you.) has four of this color, three of that color, two of another color, six of that color, etc.
And, no, we can't share. Or trade. Or fix it. Because she was USING that color to make the dog's nose! And because he NEEDED that color to make the gun trigger! And she HAD TO HAVE that color for the door of her house. (Don't be alarmed. All of those examples have something to do with math. It's higher level thinking and all that. I'll explain it to you in a different post. Sometime down the road. In the far future. If I remember.)
Do you see where I'm going with this?
This is what I started.
I'm sorting cubes. Unsnapping. Snapping. Two colors per bag.
I will not go into the agony and stress I feel over choosing the two colors that should go together. Red and black? Red and yellow? Orange and green? Brown and . . . what? WHAT? WHAT?!
Ugh. What was I thinking? I have 27 more bags to go. And I don't even want to think about what will happen if I run out of a color to make a complete bag . . . It's a nail biter, people.