I may be a little obsessed with shopping at Target and you might be able to spot me browsing the isles of the Target Dollar Spot. It’s not like I can help it, my money just magically says, “spend me, spend me.” For some reason I can’t seem to ignore the calling while at Target.
Ever since Target started selling the cute bundles of mini erasers, I have been hooked on collecting them. Even before I was a teacher, I saw the petite figures in a mesh baggy and knew that I wanted them and I would imagine using them in my classroom someday, but just couldn’t figure out how until now.
My obsession eventually grew and I started sorting and organizing the mini erasers for that one day I would find a use for them. I found that I could use the erasers for countless of things in the classroom setting. Many blogs have been written on how it helps with counting and making patterns but no one specifically wrote anything how to use them for students who are above the counting, pattern making, and simple math skills phase. I couldn’t find any blogs about how to use the mini erasers for 10 year olds. As I sit here day dreaming about my future Target trip, I am writing 5 ways that you too can use the Target Dollar Spot mini erasers in the upper elementary classroom.
- Game pieces
In my classroom, we play multiple review games, such as partner games and bingo, to practice our states and capitals or review our multiplication and division facts. Students use the mini erasers as game pieces to mark their spots on the bingo board or mark their answers on a partner game board. We recently played Northeast States Bump! (freebie found on Teachers Pay Teachers by Fitted in 4th). The game called for connecting cubes which I do not have. We substituted the connecting cubes with mini erasers. Each student had their own full container and they used the erasers to mark their spots.
My favorite way to use the mini erasers is for class rewards and incentives. My class often plays random trivia where we review math facts, science terms, story elements from our latest read aloud when we have time to spare. Students all stand by their desks and I ask a question. Students are so eager to receive a mini eraser that all their hands shoot up to volunteer to answer. I call on a student and if they answer the question correctly, I will toss the mini eraser across the room in the hopes they will catch it. Engaging and reviewing information all in one.
3. Math Manipulatives
Aside from the addition, subtraction, and making arrays (ideas that I often see scattered on the internet and through blog posts), there are plenty of other ways to use mini erasers as manipulations in the upper elementary classroom. I have used the mini erasers with my small groups practicing division facts. We solve division problems by using the strategy of grouping to sort out the mini erasers. Then we explore how many erasers are in each group and if there are any reminders. I have used the mini erasers for estimation and graphing activities. Also, we’ve used mini erasers for fraction practice. We identify and write fractions using sets of mini erasers. It brings more of a fun element into math when cute mini erasers are involved.
4. Creative Writing Prompts
Often during our work on writing rotation during Daily 5, I hear students say, “I don’t know what to write about”. I pull out two to four different mini erasers and prompt the students to write a creative story incorporating all the “character” erasers. Some of my students just need an idea or two to spark their creative writing. Some students just want a challenge to create a new story.
You can always use the mini erasers as….actual erasers. They are still usable even when they are in the shape of a figure. Students always need an eraser!
I hope this helps all upper elementary teachers decide what they can do with the Target Dollar Spot mini erasers they have or want to have. If you are interested in learning more about ways I use mini erasers in my classroom, follow me on Instagram @fishmaninfourth.