Lakeshore Learning has long been the premier provider of educational products for kids.  We recently had the opportunity to put the Magnetic Math Operations Activity Board to test in our own home classroom (with children ages 2-6). 

The magnetic operations board includes:

*Wooden Activity Board

*Magnetic Wand

*20 Magnetic Numbered Circles

*15 Double-sided Activity Cards (with answer cards)

*Activity Guide

The activity board lists ages 6+, but some of the activity cards are suitable for ages 4+ (we also include suggestions below for using the activity board with children as young as 2).

The cards include basic operations and math problems (including story problems).  We used the activity board/cards for:

*Hands-on Math Tray Activities

*Small Group and Individual Counting Practice and Number Recognition

*Literacy and Math Comprehension

Individual Math Tray Activity (or use with a small group)

 The activity cards included with the magnetic board are durable and can be used with or without the activity board.  While our older children were using the magnetic board as a small group activity, we used the cards with our 4 year olds.

Place the cards individually on a tray with a dry erase marker/eraser.  Have the children use counters or small objects (we used ice cream-themed buttons) to complete the basic math problems.  After introducing the lesson,  our four year olds completed an addition and multiplication card using counters and small cups.

Introduce the multiplication problem by asking the children to place four counters in a cup.  Remind the children to count carefully as they place their counters in the cup (verbal counting skills are often faster than a young child’s motor skills in the transfer to the cup.)  To multiply (which means to grow or make larger), the children will need to create that same set of four 2 times to “solve” the first problem on the card.  The children can then put four counters into a second cup.  Have the children count the 2 sets of 4 and write/stamp that number on a separate sheet of paper.

Ice Cream Cone Buttons in 2 Sets of 4 

Small Group Counting Practice and Number Recognition

Our 2 year old children LOVED the magnetic board.  The activity cards are not designed for most 2 year olds, but the board is fun to use.  Dry erase markers can be used on the surface of the activity board which made it easily adaptable for children of differing skill levels.

Use a dry erase marker to make a number on the surface of the board.  Have the younger children use the magnetic wand to find the corresponding number and move it up on the board.  Not only does the activity reinforce number recognition, but using the wand (to drag the numbered pieces) is challenging fine motor practice for small fingers! For counting practice, place small items on the upper part of the activity board.  Have the children count the number of items and drag the corresponding magnetic number from the lower part of the board to the items.

Use counters or small items directly on the top portion of the board

Story Problems and Comprehension

Use small items or counters along with the activity cards and magnetic board

The story problems on the activity cards are fun to do as a small group (even with mixed ages of children, teachers can partner older children with younger ones.) Help the children read the story problems (some children will be able to read the cards independently.)  Set out counters or small items for addition/subtraction and have the children complete the story problems using small counters on a table or the floor.  We had only one activity board and asked the children to take turns “recording” our answers with the wand and magnetic numbers.  We will be purchasing more boards for FALL!

The Magnetic Math Operations Activity Board is well designed.  The board is high quality and well constructed.  The magnetic wand is strong enough to drag the numbered pieces and challenges a young child’s fine motor skills.  The cards can be wiped clean even when used separately from the activity board.  It is a nice addition to our math center materials!

To purchase the Activity Board or for MORE great resources,  view the Summer Catalog at Lakeshore Learning.

Don’t forget there is still time to enter the Lakeshore Learning FACEBOOK Photo Contest! To enter and view contest details:  “Like” Lakeshore Learning on Facebook!

*The Preschool Toolbox has received the Magnetic Math Operations Board from Lakeshore Learning in exchange for the review above.  While Lakeshore Learning has provided the materials, all opinions expressed above are our honest views on how the product can be used by caregivers, parents, and teachers at home or in the classroom.

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