After the Welcome Ceremony on the first day of school, the brand new first graders and their fully dressed up parents are lead by the teacher to their classroom where each desk is beautifully prepared with a yellow hat, new textbooks, 算数セット(Sun-soo-set; the set of basic math manipulatives) box, and perhaps more goodies.
Asahi Shinbun Newspaper 2009.
Here are some items I would like to have for our American Kindergartners, First graders, and Second Graders.
Item 1: A Clock
Item 2: A personal magnetic board and multi colored magnets (preferably 20 pieces in each color)
Item 3: Magnetic Colored Shapes
CCSS K-5. I am more curious to have the magnetic Tangram Puzzle Shape. Individual and group activities including rich discussion will be guaranteed, perhaps, with some academic vocabulary. Like item 2, each shape hardly gets lost because of the magnetized materials.
Item 5: 10 Frame Cards
my favorite 10 Frame game in the illuminations.nctm.org.
If kids have these five items in daily basis, each upcoming grade year in math will be smoother. If the school supplies these math manipulatives for all classrooms of K, 1, and 2, teachers don't have to dig for certain items buried in the stuff room in addition to strengthen the standard based skills. Having common tools give students freedom to ask their own questions and find their own solutions and explanations among peers. It employs to the entering level of all 1-8 in Mathematics Standards for Mathematical Practice.