Sunday, 22 January 2012

Math Mats

A few years ago when I first taught Year 1 my sister put me on to the idea of using placemats for the students. This year I have adapted the template further to suit my Year 2s and to help them to meet the standards in Mathematics in the Australian Curriculum.

Making the placemats was fiddly and time consuming. My teaching partner tried to convince me that it would be easier to make one and photocopy it rather than make individual ones for 24 students (plus a spare just in case - and as a teacher model). I was afraid the colours wouldn't be as bright so insisted we make them by hand. After making 25 placemats each (printing, cutting, gluing, laminating) our fingers were tired and our minds were numb. She might just be able to convince me to make one and photocopy next time!

But don't they look lovely????

The front side has a handwriting model sticker (purchased from Young Ideas), left/right hand stickers (also purchased), a name plate (created using a table in MS Word with text box overlays), and a list of "No Excuses Words" which are a combination of a few high frequency word lists and a few other words that I wanted my students to spell well - including my name. ;-)

You can purchase placemats from various places that are similar to these but I like to be able to personalise them and include the bits and pieces I feel are important.

The back side has a hundreds chart which is sized to fit counters, a tens frame which also fits counters, some shapes and their names, the poem about the months (important for Year 2), the days of the week, a number line and some other maths things.

We found these great little containers (that are Decor brand - supposed to be for salad dressing) that fit 20 counters in neatly so each child will have their own set of counters and a hundreds chart at their fingertips for daily number awareness and games!

The placemats were great in Year 1 a few years ago. I am hoping they will get lots of use again this year.


  1. These placemats are brilliant - personally I would make them (and not just photocopy). Would you mind if I 'borrow' the idea??? Just started Year 1 this week and my class would indeed benefit...

  2. I'm glad you like the placemats. They took a long time to make but they will also be used everyday and for many different things.
    I don't mind putting in the time for something that is going to be purposeful.
    I certainly don't mind if you recycle some of the ideas on the placemat. I don't know where the orginal idea came from. It has been borrowed and adapted by so many class teachers. I guess someone must have come up with the original idea and you can buy commercial ones through a few distributors but I like the flexibility of being able to include the bits that I want to use with my class.
    Most of the parts were created in MSWord. Some were printed in colour and some were black and white printed onto coloured paper to make it a bit cheaper. The hundreds board was made in two pieces and I cut and glued it together and photocopied onto A3 paper to make it big enough for the counters.
    I hope your Year 1s like them. I let my kids take them home at the end of the year as I think they would be useful for homework the next year and they are a bit tattered around the edges anyway after a year of daily use.
    You could write the name on the outside of the laminating and clean them off for the following year but I think a fresh mat for the next year is nicer (but more work...)