Monday, July 9, 2012

Junk Boxes

I have been collecting items for my junk boxes for years! Have you ever heard of Math Their Way? In the 1990's, I went to a week long training and I use a lot of the activities for Math Lessons and Math Centers. It is possible to get the Blackline masters online - here and the Summary Newsletters - here. 
Junk Boxes are a fun and inexpensive math tool to use in the classroom. They are just collections of junk! Buttons, keys, bottle caps, small plastic toys, seashells, hair barrettes, plastic seasonal rings with the ring part taken off, and plastic cupcake decorations are just some of my junk box collections.  I keep mine in plastic storage containers with the locking lids (Dollar Tree).
How do I use them? The junk boxes can be used for a variety of skills. We use them for sorting, patterning, counting, addition and subtraction. After I distribute them, I always give them 5 minutes of "free exploration". Then they take a "museum walk" (no touching) where they walk around the tables to see what other students created with their junk boxes (patterns, sorting, etc). After they return to their seats, we get started on the lesson. Here are some photos:

"Show me four pieces of junk."

Addition with junk boxes


  1. I do a lot of Math Their Way. It's a great resource, huh?
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. Hi Jennifer, I'm your newest follower.

    I remener Math Their Way, but I never had any training for it. Your junk boxes looks like some fun stuff! :P

    Kelly @ I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  3. I remember Math Their Way too! It was great! I have some junk boxes but I would really like to have more. Thanks for the great ideas!

  4. I definitely have plenty of junk laying around to begin this project. Then it won't be cluttering my house lol! Great idea Jennifer!! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

    1. Thanks! The students really like my "collections."

  5. hey. thanks for sharing this amazing ideas. i really love them. will be looking up for more reviews.

    Plastic Storage Containers


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