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Homeschool Essentials: Math-U-See Decimal Street lapbook for “Alpha”

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How to make a Math-U-See Decimal Street lapbook to learn hundreds, tens, and units. #math #homeschoolmath #thisisourhomeschool #mathlapbook

Math-U-See, a Homeschooling Essential:

Today is Day 3 of “5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials” and I’m sharing about my favorite math elementary math curriculum: Math-U-See. I love that this curriculum has the lessons on DVD (Steve Demme is funny and connects well with the kids). But most of all I like his approach of trying to help the kids “see” math rather than just memorizing how to do it. See how we use our Math-U-See Decimal Street lapbook to help accomplish this goal.

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Decimal Street lapbook:

One of my children just started with the Alpha level. Place value is taught in the first lesson. We created a Decimal Street lapbook for her to practice using the units (ones), tens, and hundreds place. I’m sorry I can’t give credit to the lady on whose blog I first saw this. It was many years ago and the blog site no longer exists.

Materials to Use:

Cut the “houses” out of the red, blue, and green file folders, and tape them on the yellow folders. The castle opens up but then can be folded back in for easy storage. Draw a black street at the bottom and put packing tape over the boxes where the kids will write in the numbers.

What we do is write a number in the boxes at the bottom.  If the number is 632, she puts on 6 red “hundreds”, 3 blue “tens”, and 2 green “units.”  The boxes are covered in clear packing tape, so it wipes off really easily using a dry erase marker.  Then we practice with me putting the blocks on and she writes down the number.  After a few days of practicing this, I think she understands!

And my younger kids just like playing with the blocks!

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The blocks are what makes Math-U-See unique. The units are green, the tens are blue, and the hundreds are red. The kids can see and count them in each spot on the Decimal Street lapbook. And they can see that only 9 can fit in each house. This is important for them when they start learning about carrying or regrouping. No, Math-U-See doesn’t completely eliminate math tears, but it helps!

Do you have a favorite math curriculum?  Have you made your own Decimal Street lapbook? Please share in the comments!

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(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.)

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  1. Homeschool Parenting Summit 2.0 October 16-21, 2023
  2. Where did you get the boxes that you store the manipulatives in? We just bought this and I’m foreseeing a time when the box is in tatters. I love the wooden boxes!

    1. I bought these manipulatives used and they can in these boxes. I’m not sure if Math-U-See sells them or not!

  3. Where did you get the wooden boxed to store the manipulative? Those are great.

    1. That’s how they used to come many years ago. It looks like they don’t sell it that way anymore. Maybe check Ebay to see if you could find a used set?

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