Math Tub #1

Here is the first math tub I will be teaching when we return next week. The kids have used these sticks to practice counting since the beginning of the year. I used 5 gallon paint stir sticks (big ones from Home Depot - like 50cents). I have 20 colored stickers in increments of five. Kids have been using them to clip a clothespin on each dot to count all the way to 20.

Now they will extend their use by using clothespins with a colored star (just the colored foil stars) to add. In the example above, 3 blue stars + 2 red stars = 5 stars!! Partners can work together. One child can "make" a problem and the other child "reads" the problem. I do NOT use a recording sheet for this tub because the point is for them to "make" and "read" a simple addition problem. They enjoy doing this and become very proficient in "making" and "reading" adding problems.


  1. Hi Jeannie!! Thanks so much for leaving your blog address on your comment so I could find your cute blog! I'm your newest follower!! Yeah!! I love that you are a mother of six children! I always dreamed of marrying and having a lot of my own children, but hasn't been my path in life. Now in my 40s, I am so grateful to have the job of teaching little ones of others.

    Teaching First

  2. Rebecca, that is awesome and it's a gift to be able to teach those little ones, isn't it?? I certainly never thought I'd have 6 - but yet here I am! I'm so glad I found your blog!

  3. I think this is a great activity. I like that this is an activity in which they get to practice without having to write anything down. I think that will keep this process simple and they will enjoy taking turns making and reading the math problems. Clever idea!

  4. This is such a great idea! The bright visual will be great for the little ones.
    ❁Beth Ann❁
    Taming My Flock of Firsties

  5. I LOVE having pictures in posts and this is a fantastic idea I have never done (which is so what I love about blogging). Thanks for sharing--I'm on my way to the Depot!
    Mrs.Miner’s Monkey Business

  6. Great idea. This is excellent for fine motor skills as well.


  7. Headed to Home Depot!!! Thanks Jeannie!!!


  8. Ms. Kelly - You actually can use the free paint stir stick for 1-10. I just wanted to go all the way to 20.

    Mandy - yes it is great for fine motor skill.s In my school we are pushed so hard for academics that we don't have alot of time to just work on things like fine motor skills. Here you get 2 for the price of 1!

    Ms. Miner - it is so hard to remember to take pictures, but I agree I am a visual learner and need to see those pictures!

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  10. I love all of these ideas, as I am trying to figure out how to implement math stations in my room as opposed to one math center a week. So glad you found me so that I found you!

    A KinderGarden In Bloom

  11. Sarah absolutely!. I am glad I found your site! I follow Debbie Diller's idea of 10 math tubs. I do not rotate every week and some things stay for a while. I will be doing a video this week about how I set my math tubs up and how they rotate.

    So check back!!!

  12. I love the way you think! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas with your "kind"red spirits.