In case you missed my last post here, I am a 2018 blog ambassador for Lakeshore Learning. I am compensated for my work and received products free of charge. All products were hand-selected by me with a special education classroom in mind, and opinions are 100% mine.
Have you ever inherited a newly retired teacher’s classroom and had to sort through decades of hoarded math manipulatives, ancient cassette tape players, and filing cabinets full of dated worksheets? I have, and it isn’t fun.
While some of these materials could still be useful (ie: that broken stapler might make a great doorstop), your classroom may need a bit of updating.
Goodbye overhead projector, hello hands-on learning!
As more and more districts step away from worksheet-style teaching, you may be asking yourself, “where do I begin?!”
Fear not! Lakeshore Learning has you covered! This award-winning company is known for their high quality, hands-on learning materials. Every Lakeshore Learning product was designed by a former teacher!
These kinesthetic learning activities allow students to immerse themselves in the content in a fun and engaging way. This is especially critical in special education classrooms, where some students struggle with pen-and-paper style learning.
Here are a few of my favorite hands-on learning materials from Lakeshore Learning.
These flip books might be my new favorite things ever! There are three levels of differentiation, which are color-coded for easy reference. The letter tiles are kept in little pouches, for easy, organized storage.
Level 1: short vowel words
Level 2: short vowel words with blends and digraphs
Level 3: long vowel words with blends and digraphs
I love the visual support! Each book lists the letters the students will need to complete the flip book. Students spell the words by stacking tiles on top of each other, swapping out beginning, middle, and ending sounds.
Your students will love building the little “towers” of letters!
This precious math activity contains flip books for 3 different skills (counting, patterning, and addition). Students pull foam apples from a bucket and use the self-checking flip books to complete the activities.
You could easily adapt this into a color sorting activity, as well!
The flip book slides into the stand, and students pull the correct apples out of the bucket to represent the math equations.
The self-checking flip books provide the visual answer, promoting independence and accountability!
These math boards are the perfect hands-on tool for students to visualize and solve math problems. Students flip small wooden pieces with bananas, acorns, or berries to represent the various math equations. Flipping the tiles provides great fine motor practice and is a fun way to incorporate those occupational therapy goals.
What makes these math boards even more awesome?
YOU CAN’T LOSE THE LITTLE TILES!
I love using math manipulatives in my lessons, but they are easily be misplaced, drop to the floor, or quickly become distractions (snap cubes make great robots, apparently).
These tiles are attached tightly with string, and cannot be removed from the board.
Each board comes with 25 self-checking cards, with visuals and answers on the back.
These small alphabet picture magnets are as functional as they are adorable! These are extremely versatile and the cute graphics make them highly motivating.
These versatile alphabet magnets are perfect for:
- Assessing knowledge of alphabet sounds
- receptive identification: “Point to the word that starts with /a/.”
- expressive identification: “What sound does this word start with?”
- Building early language skills through sorting
- With 78 diverse images, these could easily be tailored to math and science lessons, as well
- Pairing with sensory materials to make hands-on sensory bin (I grabbed these leis at the dollar store for a colorful summer-themed sensory bin!)
This is an easy grab-and-go item that I think all teachers should have on hand! These magnets are also a great activity for aides, substitutes, or parent volunteers to use with the students.
Of course, these are just a few of the many kid-tested, teacher-approved learning materials from Lakeshore Learning. Be sure to use this code for 25% off any non-sale item!
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