Grades K-5 Lesson: Top Ten VariQuest Math Activities

April 7, 2014 Lindsey Graff

In honor of Mathematics Awareness Month, the following activities provide creative ways to incorporate manipulatives into the core math instruction in your classroom.

1. Use 2 and 3 Piece Puzzle cutouts (PUZ001, PUZ068) to customize puzzles that reinforce math concepts or facts. Students will build number fluency through hands-on review and will be able to more efficiently apply these concepts to new situations.

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2. Use Flap Facts (SIW182, SIW184), Window Boards 2 (MTH115), and Flash Card Wheel 6 (MTH143) as study aids. Have students create their own customized boards to reinforce the math facts they need to practice the most. Encourage students to review using their study tool at home.

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3. Have students explore patterns with numbers and shapes using Domino Numbers Set (MTH112), Domino Tiles (MTH135) or Tangram (MTH328) shapes.

Tangram resized 600


4. Use Mobile Hanger 1 (MOB016) and shapes, such as Circle (MTH306), Triangle (MTH321), and Square (MTH319) to have students create mobiles. Cut out one hanger and set of shapes for each student. Have each student record the attributes of the shape on the cutout, then attach each cutout to the mobile hanger and display in the classroom.


5. Cut out fraction sets using magnet or cardstock (MTH129 and MTH148 are pictured*). Have students label each fractional piece. Set up partner or small group activities in which students practice matching the fractional parts to the whole, or represent equivalent fractions using the fraction cutouts.

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*Search the term, “fraction” in the VariQuest Design Center software to find all fraction cutouts available.


6. Introduce money cutouts: Dollar Bill 1 (MTH206), Quarter 1 Coin (MTH207), Dime 1 Coin (MTH209), Nickel 1 Coin (MTH208), and Penny 1 Coin (MTH210) to teach students about the monetary value of coins. Have students use the cutouts to represent the relationship between the value of the coins and dollar bills.


7. Get students hands-on with the hands of a clock using the Clock (MTH279) cutout. Have students practice representing times and use the clock to solve problems involving elapsed time.

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8. Incorporate counting and matching activities using thematic collections that tie in with units across the curriculum. Seashell Colors Counting (CRF143) collection is shown.

CRF143 Seashell Counting Colors Collection resized 600


9. Print stickers on the Awards Maker and attach to cardstock to create flashcards*. Have students take turns quizzing each other to increase math fact fluency. Create matching activities using related math topics, such as equivalent fractions and decimals.

FractionDecimal Flashcards resized 600

* The flashcard templates shown are from the Number Sense 2 Learning Module.


10. Cut out and fold together Cube Shape (MTH275) to create customized number cubes for classroom games and activities.


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