Kindergarten/1st Grade Math Lapbook

We have been having way too much fun with math around here. That’s a good sign, because math is supposed to be the most boring subject of all. My kids have had so much fun learning math without a textbook. I wish I would have done this sooner.

Let me tell you why I didn’t. I was afraid. Even though I’ve had plenty of exposure to homeschooling in my life–my husband was homeschooled, I have siblings that were homeschooled–still doing it on my own was scarier than I thought. So if you’re thinking that your too scared to try this approach to math, I don’t blame you, but keep it in the back of your mind if you have a child that hates math.

Every day I like Math on the Level more and more. The whole idea of not having a textbook for the kids is actually liberating. I have come to realize that Math on the Level will always require lots of parent time, but it’s fun time. I enjoy putting together the lesson plans and playing math with my kids. Best of all my kids are loving math, the same two kids who last year would whine and whine when I told them to get their math done. And my three-year-old loves it when the older two are doing things for math, because he can get his hands in on the action often too.

Okay, now to the lapbook since that’s my heading! Lapbooks are not part of the Math on the Level program, but as you might already know, they’ve become a fun part of our homeschooling experience and since Math on the Level is about teaching concepts, not about doing pages of math, I am free to teach the concepts multiple ways. So this week, I had my son review several of the things he had covered last year by making a lapbook. This lapbook evolved a little bit, because my original idea was to make what some call a mini-office so we started out making a few of the mini books on the computer. Then I thought better of the situation. I thought, "What is the sense of my making this lapbook for him to look at? This should be his project and then making it will be reinforcing it in his mind." So a few of the components were from the original concept and then the rest are his creation. (Some with my assistance.)

Here are the pictures.

Math Lapbook Cover

The cover.

Math Lapbook Open

The lapbook opened up.

Left panel is a slider to practice counting backwards from twenty. The top middle is his handwritten hundreds chart. The bottom is a seven-inch ruler. The hands on the clock rotate and so he (or I) can set the time on the clock and then read it. I uploaded the template for the clock and you can download for free at hslaunch by clicking here. I’ve also uploaded the template for the Counting Backwards slider.

Here are close-ups of the other two mini-books in the above picture.

Place Value Open

A close-up of the inside of the Place Value Layered Book.

Denominations of US Dollars

A close up of the Bills Book. I downloaded the artwork for most of the bills from a US Treasury website. I got the $1 bill from Wikipedia.

Math Lapbook Fully Open

The lapbook opened up further.

Math Lapbook Top Flap

The top flap.

The hands are quite obviously about learning left and right. Yes, they were traced from his hands. The "Numbers about Me" are interesting numbers that he had to figure out such as weight, height, clothing size, birthday, his age, etc. Inside the house is his address and phone number. I’m not going to show the insides of these two for what I think is an obvious reason.

Math Lapbook Inside

The inside of the inside of the lapbook. Close-ups following.

Spelling Numbers

Learning to spell the number names.

Coins Tabbed Book Open

Inside of the Coins tabbed book. (I got the artwork for the coins from the US Mint. It’s really nice artwork. Some of the coins on the front were stickers though.)

Shapes Layered Book Open

Some 2-D shapes.

You can probably tell which mini books he made and which ones I made. I just happen to think that his are way neater than mine. (You’re on your own now for making your own lapbooks, my boy!)

13 thoughts on “Kindergarten/1st Grade Math Lapbook

  • October 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I bought stuff to make lapbooks a long time ago and never did anything with it. This is an inspiration to get going. Thanks for sharing!

  • October 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    That is way cool. Thanks for sharing. We did workbook math up until this year and I am excited about using Math on the Level! Glad to see how you are using it.


  • October 2, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you so much for showing the close-ups. I haven't made any lapbooks YET but I have always wanted to. This helps me to get a good visual of what things I can start with. THANK YOU!!!

  • October 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    These lapbooks are marvelous! Great job. Everywhere I turn I keep hearing about Math on the Level. I need to do some more research on it. It looks very interesting.

  • October 2, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Very, very cool! I love the idea of a math lapbook, and I'm a fan of minioffices too. I LOVE how you let him make the minibooks. The very act of making the books is a step in learning. Smart mamma, you are!

    I am so intrigued by Math on the Level. We'll be in 6th grade by the time I could get my hands on it. I'm just not sure if it's a good time for it. Still considering.

  • October 3, 2009 at 8:30 am

    You did an amazing job. What a great way to review what he has learned.

  • October 3, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Maybe my 11 yo dd would be up for doing this with fractions. They are the bane of her existence right now. They are however, also what she has chosen to study using the MOTL materials. She likes MOTL because she only has 5 review problems every day! I like it because it gets me more involved with her schooling again. I guess I got lazy with her because she's the last one. Lapbooks may help take some of the sting out of doing the math.

  • October 4, 2009 at 7:25 am

    My kids made math lapbooks last year and really enjoyed it. My son kept saying, "I love math!" Don't you love to hear that?!

    sarah @

  • October 5, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    this was great ! we are enjoying MOTL as well see you on the group! :) tracey

  • October 12, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Math on the Level looks really good. I'm going to check it out!

    Love the lapbooks. We've done a couple and my daughter enjoyed both. I should have her do more:)

    Becca Time Well Spent

  • October 15, 2009 at 7:53 am

    I came here from your page on Flickr. Great lapbook! I love the place value and dollar bills booklets. I may try some of this with my little girls. My five year old knows most of this already (she's pretty advanced), but she loves lapbooks and would enjoy teaching it to her younger sister.

  • October 15, 2009 at 7:57 am

    By the way, would you mind listing some of your sources- where did you get the images for the money? The coins are stickers, aren't they? Do you have templates for any of the other booklets you made? (For instance the counting backward book- anything that moves is a big hit around here) I could make my own, but why reinvent the wheel? Thanks!

  • October 16, 2009 at 8:52 am

    This is great. Thanks for sharing. I have made a math mini-office before, which I think can use some more adding to it. This has inspired me in maybe doing a lapbook instead. I really like what you've done. I hope you do not mind me copying your idea.

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