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Texture and counting meet creativity and expression as children model numbers and explore arithmetic.
Organize students at a central place in the classroom such as the reading rug. Initiate a discussion focused on digits. What are students' favorite numbers? Why? Where do they find digits everyday? What is the difference between a digit and a number? How do they use digits and numbers everyday?
Ask students to choose a favorite one-digit number. Let them know that they will each be making a 3-dimensional model of these favorite numbers. If possible, have a few 3-D models of digits prepared for them to view.
Ask students to cover their work area with recycled newspaper. Distribute Crayola® Model Magic to each child. Demonstrate how to knead and roll it into a coil measuring approximately 3/4-inch (2 cm) in width. Allow time for students to experiment with the Model Magic. When satisfied with their work, they shape the coil into the desired numeral.
Now it's time to individualize the digits. Invite students to create the same number of dents, holes, ridges, or impressions as the numeral represents. Encourage them to make impressions deep or high enough to feel. This can be accomplished with craft sticks, wooden spoons, and other found objects.
To make contrasting inlays, students poke a hole with a pencil eraser, then drop a small Model Magic ball into the hole and press firmly.
Make narrow, crosswise dents by pressing the blunt side of a plastic knife into the coil.
Add contrasting strips of color by laying small coils of another color into the dents. Press firmly.
Pinch Model Magic up to make ridges and bumps. Fill with small coils of another color, and pinch to hold in place.
Provide time in the school day for students to share selected digit with classmates. Challenge students in the audience to think of addition or subtraction word problems that contain the digit being presented such as: "3 + 2 = 5" (sum is the digit presented); or, "Three geese walk up to a pond where two swans are swimming. The geese jump in the pond. How many birds are in the pond?"
Students create and share valuable pictures with coin rubbings.
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