Love this idea for the first day of school! Have the kiddos make something with playdough while you are taking care of first day housekeeping (supplies, etc.) Then have students write about what they made. Great for the 1st item in their writing portfolio!
Beaded number rods for subtraction! Great visual for students with special needs. Adding concrete materials when performing simple operations, helps build number sense to ensure students are relating quantities to symbols (numbers). For this and more great ways to use beads and pipe cleaners in your math lesson, go to: http://commoncoreconnectionusa.blogspot.com/2014/12/beaded-number-rods.html