Mini erasers may just be one of the most fun, exciting, and versatile classroom manipulatives out there. Luckily, you can snag these themed and seasonal sets for a great price at most dollar stores or online. Teachers and students love using mini erasers in the classroom for much more than simply erasing.
In this blog post, I’m sharing 5 of my favorite ways to use mini erasers in the classroom. In addition, I’m offering tons of ideas and activities that you can implement in your classroom using mini erasers. If you don’t have mini erasers, you can use other manipulatives, such as plastic math cubes, counting bears, etc.
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Using mini erasers in the classroom as math manipulatives is one of the best ways to incorporate these into your day.
Number Sense, Addition, and Subtraction
One way to use mini erasers is with count and build activities and to practice one-to-one correspondence. Have students count sets of mini erasers or model a number with mini erasers.
Mini erasers are a great fine motor tool for students to use to build numbers and practice number formation. You can use mini eraser mats to help them practice. Add a pair of chunky tweezers and your students will have a blast building fine motor skills while learning more about writing numbers. Encourage your students to build from top to bottom, left to right to encourage directionality.
Using mini erasers in the classroom to model addition and subtraction problems is another effective way to use these tools. To model addition problems, have students use two different sets of mini erasers to solve the problem and find the sum.
To model subtraction problems, have students use one set of mini erasers and take away the number shown in the number sentence to find the difference. This visual aid and hands-on element will help students grasp the concepts of adding to and taking away.
Sorting, Patterns, Graphing, and Measurement
Students can also practice sorting and making patterns with mini erasers. Give students a small pile of various themed mini erasers and have them sort the erasers by theme. Your students can even sort mini erasers into the proper categories as they help you pick up and store mini erasers.
To practice making patterns, provide students with 2-3 different themes of mini erasers. Encourage them to practice creating various patterns, such as AB, ABC, AAB, ABB, etc. This encourages visual discrimination skills, which is key in kindergarten.
Mini erasers are also helpful during your graphing and measurement units. Students can use different sets of mini erasers to graph and solve problems. They can also use mini erasers to mark the spaces on any graph to show how many.
Mini erasers are perfect for practicing nonstandard measurement skills as well. Simply have students line up mini erasers to measure the object. Then, have them tell how many mini erasers it takes to measure the length, height, or width of the object.
Math isn’t the only subject manipulatives come in handy for. Using mini erasers in the classroom as literacy manipulatives is another great option. Similar to building numbers with mini erasers, the same can be done to build letters with mini eraser mats. You can also practice building words.
As your students learn their uppercase and lowercase letters and how to properly form them, building with mini erasers is a great way to give them more exposure and practice. They can even practice letter identification by using mini erasers in an activity such as Letter Roll.
Mini erasers are super handy to have during word work. Use them to practice building sight words, CVC words, CVCe words, etc. Your students can even use mini erasers to identify sight words, number words, or color words in sentences by placing a mini eraser under the word.
Mini erasers can help students count syllables in words. They can even push up or touch them when sounding out words. The act of moving or touching a small manipulative such as a mini eraser is very helpful when sounding out and blending sounds in words, especially for your hands-on and visual learners.
Another way to use mini erasers as literacy manipulatives is to incorporate them into your writing block. Students thrive when they have a writing prompt or a sentence starter to write about. Since mini erasers are themed, seasonal, and fun to look at, they are the perfect sentence starter for students to begin with.
Simply place the mini eraser on your students’ lined writing paper and have them draw a picture around it. Then have them write a sentence about it. No more writer’s block here…mini erasers to the rescue!
Mini erasers aren’t just great for using as manipulatives, they also make the best game pieces! Using mini erasers in the classroom as game pieces is a fun way to switch up any game you’re playing or give students free choice. You can have them choose their own set of mini erasers to use for game pieces. This makes them feel special and valued.
Mini erasers are perfect for using as Bingo game markers or as game board pieces during math and literacy games. Your students can use a different mini eraser for each round of the game. This makes it feel fresh and new each time they play. Mini erasers are also good game pieces for roll and cover games, such as this free Pizza Parlor game.
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Fine Motor Activities
Using mini erasers in the classroom for fine motor activities is an effective way to build those little hand muscles and encourage direction following skills. Students can practice moving mini erasers by grasping them with chunky tweezers.
Students can even hide mini erasers in kinetic sand or sprinkles and challenge their friends to find them with their hands or by pulling them out with tweezers. This makes a perfect fine motor center.
Mini erasers are great for free play time as well. Students can use their imagination with mini erasers during free play or even use them to build, create mazes, or make scenes.
Using mini erasers in the classroom as rewards for students is an effective way to encourage positive behavior and hard work. Plus, students love mini erasers and will work hard to earn them. They can work to earn them as an individual reward or as a class.
To use this as an individual reward, students can either earn a new mini eraser or a small set of mini erasers to keep. They can also work to earn the opportunity to choose their own set of mini erasers to use during class for the day or week.
To use this as a whole class classroom management strategy, have students work to fill a jar with mini erasers. Each time the whole class is making a good choice or working hard collectively, add a mini eraser to the jar.
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I hope these ideas for using mini erasers in the classroom gave you new ideas and inspiration for incorporating these into your day. Which of these ideas are you going to implement first? Let me know in the comments section!