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By Ashley Estes, RAFT Fellow

RAFT is one of the best places to find some amazing premade kits and learning tools. These kits are great and can be used across many grade levels. As a 1st grade teacher, I use them weekly in my classroom. In this article, I would love to explain one kit in particular that could be easily used with students from Pre-K to 1st grade. This fantastic kit is called, Laundry Math. This clever and adorable kit comes with sheets that have clotheslines drawn on them, pictures of shirts and pants, 2 sets of numbers 1-10, and Velcro for the items to stick on. This kit helps with counting, 1-1 correspondence, number identification, problem solving, adding, and subtracting. After laminating and placing the Velcro on the pieces, your students are ready to go. The basic idea of this activity kit is students place pieces of clothing on the clothesline and after counting the items; they place the correct number on the sheet (see pictures below).

As stated earlier, in my opinion, I believe this kit would be great for Pre-K to 1st grade classrooms. I am lucky enough to work in a school that has a Pre-K classroom, so I decided to pass along these kits to the teachers and see how they would implement them. I could not wait to see how this would play out, especially since I teach 1st grade.

The following paragraph was written by the Pre-K teachers to explain how they felt about using this kit in their classroom.

“This activity was used during our morning workshops. I particularly liked this activity because it didn’t require a lot of direct instruction. The children were able to figure out what they needed to do. I found this activity very useful because it helped the children make the connection that numbers represent the number of objects.  It also helped with identifying the numbers.”

This was so great to read and I was thrilled with how well this kit fit within their curriculum. This made me feel that Kindergarten classrooms could also benefit from using this kit. As a 1st grade teacher, this kit would be wonderful to help my students who need extra help with addition and I would also use it for subtraction as well. I personally love this kit because it is so interactive and it can be used with many different mathematical concepts. I hope you consider using this kit in your classroom and remember you are able to use these to your advantage and tweak them to fiit your classrooms and the needs of your students.