Two Sisters and Their Toolkits

Allegany County elementary and middle school teachers Connie Koelker and Brenda Bauer share their math game!

Photo © Brion McCarthy Photography

Brenda Bauer (left) is a 3rd grade teacher at Cresaptown Elementary School. Her sister, Connie Koelker, teaches 6th grade math at Braddock Middle School. Their mother and all six of their first cousins are proud Allegany County educators!

1 BALANCE BEAM (Connie) This is a great visual showing how equations need to balance on the left and the right side to be equivalent. The paddle allows the students to answer.

2 ICE CUBE TRAY AND BINGO CHIPS (Brenda) Using an ice cube tray and magnetic bingo chips allows students to create equal groups for multiplication and easily check how many are in a group for division.

3 MOUNTAINS AND HILLS (Brenda) We use these to show that time has elapsed. Each mountain is an hour and students get to write the minute amounts in the hills.

4 CARD STOCK (Connie) Card stock, a positive and negative number line, and a pipe cleaner make a wonderful tool for students to practice adding and subtracting integers.

5 MAGNETICS (Brenda) These are great tools to show square units with area and even demonstrate arrays in multiplication and division. We use larger magnetics to create geometric shapes showing perimeter and area.

6 SMART PALS (Connie) We use these clear sleeves for graphic organizers and worksheets. Students use dry erase markers to practice, erase, practice!