When I was 6 years old in Québec, I loved counting on my calendrier-compteur de Robinson (Robinson's calendar-counter)! I couldn't find any English translation, so I don't know if it exists elsewhere. Kids in first and second grade use it to learn to calculate by visualizing and manipulating units, tens, and hundreds. Much later, I made giant ones to keep score in my team games. I always get a sense of nostalgia, as if I'm falling back into childhood, when I take them out. They are very compact once closed and easy to store:
They have been extensively used over the past years and are still in perfect condition. It just goes to show that it's worth laminating your materials.
If you are a regular elementary school teacher, you can certainly use these wonderful counters for math!
Materials, for 2 counters:
One large red poster board
One large blue poster board
Canvas adhesive tape (duck tape)
A hole puncher
12 loose-leaf binder rings
The PDF with numbers from 0 to 9, to be printed preferably on paperboard
Note : In Quebec, we spend our time switching between the metric system and the imperial system, because of the United States being nearby.
1. On each red and blue poster board, cut out a 14'' x 21'' rectangle (the backing) and a 14'' x 8'' rectangle (the cover).
2. To obtain laminated counters, proceed by laminating the numbers and the large colored cards.
3. Make three incisions on the 14'' x 21'' rectangles using scissors or an exacto knife and a ruler. These incisions will be used to create the folds of the backing. Make two incisions at 8'' apart for the sides of the backing on the front side of the cardboard, then make an incision 2.5'' away from the edge on the back side of the cardboard for the base (at the center of the base, the cardboard is folded in the other direction).
4. Create the folds of the backing. Strengthen the folds and close the backing with adhesive tape.
5. Using the hole punch, make holes on the cover following the measurements indicated on the drawing (they start from the sides towards the center). Then, use the cover as a template to make holes on the backing.
6. Cut out the numbers and make holes following the measurements indicated on the drawing (they start from the sides towards the center). Use the first number as a template to make holes in the subsequent cards (since there are 60 holes to be made for the numbers, it's better to create a template).
7. Assemble everything with the rings, and... Ta-da!