More with math bags

Over the past four years, I have blogged off and on about our math bags so I thought I would bring a little update to our use of the math bags this year. To begin with, each of our students have their own math bag that they take home each week and fill with five or so small items (called math tokens) that they have found around the house…

More with math bags by Teach Preschool

As a group, the children share what is in their math bags. They talk about what the items are, what they might have been used for, and perhaps what color or shape they are. The discussion is left open ended and can lead in many different directions depending on what the children brought and the interest of the children. The goal of bringing things from home is for the children to relate to the items as something they would see in their real world at home or at the park and so that they would see opportunity for math all around them in their daily, natural, and everyday world…

More with math bags by Teach Preschool

The children bring all kinds of things in their math bags including straws, caps, Q-tips, rocks, acorns, leaves, cotton balls, coke tabs, paper clips, erasers, and the list goes on. We work with whatever shows up unless it is edible and then we most likely share it, count it, then eat it or toss it…

More with math bags by Teach Preschool

I like to keep the math bag sharing and counting process consistent but at the same time, casual, warm, and inviting. In order to keep it interesting, we have to lead the children through the process in a way that is fun and engaging…

More with math bags by Teach Preschool

The math bag tokens are saved all throughout the school year for different math related activities. We eventually sort them into different jars as we get a large enough collection for estimating, patterning, graphing and other processes…

More with math bags by Teach Preschool

We explore the math tokens in a different way each week after our sharing time. The exploring process is always hands on and the children love sifting through the math tokens and remembering which ones they brought or taking a closer look at what their friends brought…

More with math bags by Teach Preschool

Our preschoolers  (3 and 4 year olds) explore the math tokens a little differently than our prekindergarten age (4 and 5 year old) students do which is what I also like about math bags…

More with math bags by Teach Preschool

It is easy to use the same tokens and yet modify the different processes we use them for to meet the interest and readiness of each child…

More with Math Bags by Teach Preschool

After we finish exploring the math tokens, the children put them back in either our large class math bag or in the math jars to use again the next week…

More with Math Bags by Teach Preschool

I have shared past posts to other ways we have used our math bag tokens and to see them, all you need to do is scroll back up to the top of the page (here on the blog) and type in the word “math bag” in google search bar located in the upper right hands side of my blog. It will pop open a window of different posts related to math bags. But I will share a few links below to get you started…

More with Math Bags by Teach Preschool

Links to Grow On

I Spy Math Bags

Exploring the Estimation Station

The Math Box

Making Math Glue Boxes

Available on Amazon

By |2017-03-29T11:32:11+00:00October 5th, 2014|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. LaQuetha October 6, 2014 at 12:11 am - Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing. This is my second year to do math bags and it is a wonderful addition to the classroom. Quick questions how big are jars and where did you buy them? I am trying to figure out how to incorporate math jars each week. I have 14 students up to 16. I would love to use the items but I only have glass jars and I am okay with that but having the children open them is not easy. Any suggestions or thoughts welcome.

  2. Stacy October 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    I LOVE your math bag ideas. They are so helpful. I have already copied so many of your ideas about it, but I like the jars that you are showing in the pictures. Can you tell me where you got them? If you send me an amazon link, I’ll be sure to use it in case it can give you a little credit.
    Thanks for posting more math bag ideas 🙂

  3. Jennifer Brown October 10, 2014 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Math has always been a challenge for kids, and teachers (in teaching) as well, but I always believe that if we incorporate fun and games that they both enjoy and casually remember, the lessons will be more absorbed by the kids.

    By experience, I seem find having them in groups or working as a group in activities makes them more interested and willing to learn.

  4. LaQuetha October 13, 2014 at 12:07 am - Reply

    This week I am going to try having the class make patterns with math bag items or have the sort items by colors or sizes. They really enjoy doing math bag and are so excited to show me all the things they bring to school.

  5. Lindsay January 11, 2015 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    First off, I love your webpage and ideas for teaching early learners! I’m starting to use math bags this week and am wondering how often you send the bags home and ask for new items? I was thinking of sending mine home once a week, but don’t know if that’s too much for families. Thanks again

  6. […] More with Math Bags […]

  7. Hurrah for math in preschool! March 20, 2017 at 12:20 am - Reply

    […] More with Math Bags […]

  8. […] More with Math Bags […]

Leave A Comment

This site uses 'cookies' to give you the best, most relevant experience. Using the website means you're OK with this. Ok