Monday, June 22, 2015

Made It Monday! Sums of Ten Shake-a-Bottle

Hi, Teaching Friends!

It's time for Made It Monday at Fourth Grade Frolics! The idea I have to share with you today is nothing particularly unique. You've probably seen them called shaker bottles, learning bottles, exploration tubes, or one of many other names out there. You can even buy them, but if you're that kind of person (no offense intended!), you're probably not poking around in Made It Monday links.
I call mine shake-a-bottles, and the thing that is new about the one that I'm going to share with you today is the theme.

Our primary kiddos need lots and lots of practice with number combinations that total ten. This activity throws a little hands-on fun into the practice.

Here's what you'll need.

Start off with an empty, clean, clear plastic bottle. Be sure to give it a day or two to completely dry inside. Wet rice, pasta, or even just the paper is ... ick.

The bottle plus these items that you might already have on hand - that's it!

I used alphabet pasta this time, but you could also use orzo, ditalini, rice, or any kind of small plastic beads. If you're going to color the contents of your bottle, stir just a few drops of food coloring into it and mix it well. then spread it all out to dry. In the past, I've added a few drops of rubbing alcohol to speed the drying and make the colors a little stronger, by that's not necessary.

Print the number card page of the download on cardstock and cut apart.

Put the pasta, rice, or whatever you're using into the bottle, filling about 1/4 of the way. Then mix in some of the cards and shake it up. Then repeat - pasta, cards, shake. Stop when your bottle is about 3/4 full. The cards and filler need room to move around when your students shake the bottle.

There are lots of ways to use this number bottle, but here's the one I made today. Sums of ten - shake it again! Click here  or on the picture below to download your copy, which also includes the number cards and directions for this project.

If you like shake-a-bottles and are interested in making a whole set, try this set for literacy!

Visit Monday Made it at Fourth Grade Frolics for more fun and games to fill your summer days!

Today is also Markdown Monday at Kim and Kelly's Kindergarten. My half-price resource for this week is this cross-curricular unit about space. You'll find seven math and literacy activities designed to support your science teaching about space and the planets - 50% off today through Friday!

Happy Teaching!


  1. I love how this sounds. I am visual though, can you show me a picture of the shaker with the numbers inside?
    Hodges Herald

    1. Thanks for the great suggestion, Elizabeth! Post edited, picture added!

  2. What a great idea! My daughter was just sitting at the doctor's office the other day, and she was mesmerized by the I Spy bottle, so I know students would LOVE this!

  3. They become very involved ... "mesmerized" is the perfect description! Thanks, Deb!


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