Tricks of the Trade Thursdays: Manipulatives

Sorry I'm a little late with this posting this morning -
I was happy-dancing late into the night as I celebrate SUMMER!
But, in all my celebratory frolicking,
I slacked on my Tricks of the Trade Thursday post...
Today's "Tricks of the Trade" topic is...
Store Manipulatives Together
To keep your room neat (and yourself sane), keep your manipulatives together in one, organized, easy-to-access spot. Because my fifth graders are bigger and (supposedly!) more responsible, I taught them where my manipulatives were stored, how to access them, and how to put them back NEATLY.
After some training, I knew I could trust them.
I haven't taught math for the last two years,
so I don't do tons with manipulatives,
but I still keep a small stock for activities and/or free time.
I keep mine in a plastic three-drawer organizer like this: 
Other teachers have more extensive collections:
(click each picture to follow the link)
Math Manipulatives
Organized manipulatives!
Math manipulatives
Use a Variety of Everyday Items
Don't feel that you have to always buy the
over-priced manipulatives from the teacher store.
Oftentimes, a regular everyday item can work just as well:
I use the poker chips for reward tokens, creating patterns, creating teams (by color), etc.
The Lima beans are used for Bingo,
and the blocks are blocks :)
I got the blocks and the poker chips at a garage sale for $1 each - can't beat that! 
Here is a great pin for 5 everyday items you can DIY:
5 DIY Manipulatives for Preschool and Kindergarten
Question: What everyday item have you used as a manipulative? 
Share in the comments below! 
Label your manipulative containers for easy reference
KinderTastic: Math Manipulatives Labels
These cute FREE Math Manipulative labels (and many more!)
are from KinderTastic

Place Dice in Containers:
Put the dice in a small plastic container and now you have - Controlled dice!    Just shake up the dice - no more flying around the room!
Trapping dice in small plastic containers keeps them from flying all over the room -
students still get to shake them and see the results without you chasing them down, sprawling on the floor to reach under tables, etc.

Have you ever been to Five Below
They have an AWESOME assortment of dice,
usually near the checkout. I went and stocked up on lots of
different types/sizes/shapes of dice:
I keep them in cute little containers based on the type.

I LOVE the two-dice-in-one:
I use them for addition or multiplication practice.

I was searching for manipulative pictures on Pintrest earlier this week and look what I found:
Dice collection stored in plastic container
WOW! What a fun collection :)
Storing Cards in Travel Soap Containers:
 Storing cards for math games in travel soap containers
I stole this idea from a blogger and it works magically! Each deck of cards gets put in a plastic travel-sized soap container I bought from the Dollar Tree.
I also had some handy helpers put colored dots on each card to match the container, so they can easily be put back where they belong if one wanders from his pack :)

Now it's YOUR turn!
I can't wait to see your brilliant, ingenious 

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