Practice = Progress: Making Change [Giveaway]

Boy have I been busy! The creating bug finally bit and I actually had time during winter break to work on some new things for my room. One of my goals going back after break was all about helping students with their gaps. I know which students struggle with money/rounding/subtracting across zeros etc.

But I struggle with time to meet with them all in small groups with our given curriculum and schedule. I wanted to find a way for them to continue to have practice with skills we've already covered, but they have not yet mastered.

And I wanted them to know if they were on the right track or not (instant feedback essentially).

And because I already said that I can't meet with them all on a daily basis (I wish they would figure out a way to clone people already), I had to think of a solution.

And I didn't want to make a bunch of copies that I had to constantly replenish and be on top of to know when they needed to be replenished.

And I wanted it to be engaging.

And I think I figured out something to help with ALL of these "ands" (and it's something you could put together with your own resources)!

Enter my Practice = Progress Tubs!
These are scrapbooking containers from Michael's- they were on sale for 50% this past week (so they were like $3.00) and work perfectly for my purpose!

This first one I created is all about working with change. Here in MN, we do not follow the Math Common Core- just the ELA. I was curious and compared our standards to the CCSS and man- I was shocked! We've been "told" that our standards are more rigorous/thorough in certain areas than the CCSS, which is why we haven't adopted them yet. I haven't compared them all yet, but with money, I definitely can see glaring differences. Anywho- for my students, they need to be able to make change in multiple ways, including using the fewest coins possible. So I created 5 different activities that relate to that standard (as well as some others from 2nd grade and other 3rd grade standards).

Remember how one of my "ands" was that I can't meet with everyone all the time? Well the lid when you open it becomes the "student control center." It has reference posters to help and directions for each activity that includes a materials list and work time expectations. I tried to make it as independent as possible. I just added a plastic page protector so that I can change out the main reference poster with different standards work and I made those two pockets out of card stock which again, will allow me to switch resources out. I attached them to the lid using double sided tape and Zots Strips.

What's in the tub? Here's the activities that I've combined for this tub:
Fewest Coins Possible Task Cards: I used "brag books" (I didn't know they were called that until I tried to describe them to the cashier at the Dollar Tree...which they were out of and I had to then travel to Walmart to find these BUT they were 3 cents cheaper #minorwin). I split them up into two books and have the directions right in these photo albums. Students need to use whiteboard markers for these, so that's why I went with the books. I included an answer key in the back for students to check their own work. However, I also have a recording sheet if I don't trust some of those little ones.

One of my "ands" was for the activities to allow for instant feedback and engaging. I made some puzzles and a "Go Fish"/Memory game for partners to work on together. They will *hopefully* check each others work on both of these.  To save on ink- I just printed the puzzles on colored card stock. And to keep the Go Fish cards more secretive, I printed them on patterned card stock (one side patterned- one side white) so that you can't see through the cards.

When they flip it over, they can see if they are correct, they missed any (like I did) or if they chose any that weren't correct.

I love these Clip, Flip and Checks and will be making more of them for things like area/perimeter, multiplication/division, etc. The clothespins were already beautified when I bought them at Michaels. But this will also help them stay in this tub- if they are lost, I'll know where it needs to go. These are perfect self-checkers. This is nice because I made 5 of them so a few kids can be working on this activity at once and just switch.

The last activity are task cards that work more on subtracting across zeros to find change (although they all don't require to). Again, I added an answer key so students can check their work... and I also have recording pages if I choose for some kiddos. These cards range in difficulty to provide challenges for all students. I may even include some calculators in this center to help them check. Again, it require honesty, but in reality, I'm shocked at how many students don't know what the symbols on a calculator stand for, so maybe we'll slip that in as well. :)

So now- when students finish their in class work, they can do one of the activities to practice skills we've already learned and keep in fresh in their minds. I can assign certain students to certain activities knowing that they are working skills that they need more practice with. I'm already working on tubs for some other standards (time and measurement mainly).

Want to win a copy of my Making Change Practice = Progress Pack? Enter the Rafflecopter below. A winner will be chosen tomorrow. Can't wait? All the activities are on sale in my store now (individually or in the bundle)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check back tomorrow for another "creation" I put together that makes task cards even more fun! And another way for me to make sure students are working on skills that they need additional practice on. And... And... And...



  1. I love this set up! I have something similar in my class, but am always looking for new activities for my math stations. Maria

  2. Wow, Kelli! These look awesome!!!

  3. I am majorly impressed! I like to make things seem like "fun" if the students need more practice. If they didn't get it at first, boring them to tears with it isn't going to be effective!

  4. I am lucky enough to have a Very small class and therefore I am able to meet with groups if I need to. When I am with a group the other few students are doing centers to help reinforce the skill. I also love to use my iPads for IXL or some other app to help.

  5. Adding the skills into lessons that are really engaging so that the students don't feel like they are always doing the same thing over and over again.

  6. Holy cow your Practice = Progress Tubs look amazing!!!

    One of the skills that some of my students still struggle with is multiplication, so I plan in time to practice with fun games to help those students who still don't know their multiplication facts.

    1. Congrats!! You are the lucky winner! Reply to this comment with the email you'd wish that I send your new resources too (of you can email me at and we can go from there. :) I hope you enjoy!

  7. Love this set up! We use centers, iPad apps, and a variety of differentiated centers to try and fill in gaps on missing skills.

    Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road

  8. Great activities for math work.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas, they are simply wonderful, I especially love the clip,flip and check cards. Do you sell the editable templates in your store?


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