Thursday, April 18, 2013

RightStart Math Organization

The question comes up over and over - how do you store all the manipulatives you get with RightStart?   After discussing my method on the RightStart Yahoo Group, I decided that pictures would demonstrate my method much easier than mere words.

Note that I store the math balance and drawing tools/drawing board separately, so I haven't shown them here.  The math balance is on top of our "homeschool shelf", and the drawing board and tools are stored in their bag on a shelf.  I'm hoping to improve the storage of the drawing board and tools.  There is a "mini-math balance" for sale at a few homeschool suppliers that is a lot smaller.  It would probably fit in my box - but we already have the bigger one.

So here are the manipulatives I'm storing.  I think I have everything for the levels, except possibly a couple of things for Level D and E....

Right Start Manipulatives
And I store them in a simple File Box with a handle.  The Box goes at the bottom of our homeschool shelf.  We used to stack the books on top, but the covers were coming off - so I've recently taken a 1/2 size file box and store the books and workbooks in it, in hanging folders.   I like to have all the manipulatives together, as I have 4 children - 3 currently doing math, within 2 different levels.  I just want to be able to grab the box and have whatever I need, instead of trying to figure out beforehand what will be needed.

As you can see above - the file box I have has a pencil case area.  The Calculator goes in here, as well as extra pencils, erasers, a die, and any loose parts found on the floor (a tile here, a tally stick there)....

Inside the box, at the back, I store the Appendixes for A and B (in a folder), and the geoboards.  They don't get used often, but can be grabbed easily.

Next I store the bag of 3d-shapes.  These are hardly ever used (in edition 1), so they got assigned the bottom.

Then all the smaller pieces are in plastic pencil case boxes I got from the dollar store.  

Box 1 has the wooden 1 inch cubes and the plastic Centimeter cubes.

Box 2 is the main one that gets used the most.  It has the Tanigrams, the Tally Sticks, the Base 10 cards (we have 2 sets), and the Place Value Cards.  Each are in their own ziplock bag (mostly the snack size.)

Box 3 is the abacus tiles, so they don't get squished or wrecked.

These boxes get placed beside the shapes, in front of the geoboards.  The one is sideways because my file box isn't large enough for all 3 to go in front of the geoboards.

Now the tiles are placed on top of the shapes.  They don't fit in one of the cases, so they are in a large freezer ziplock.  These get used a LOT, so I keep them easy to grab.

Next go a ziplock with the reflector and geoboard elastics, and the clock.  They just sit on top, and get moved to one side or the other to get at the other things.  The folding meter stick fits in the front of the box

Throw the 2 abacuses on top, and it is ready to close.

Then there are the cards - I keep them separate, so we can choose to play a game easily.  (Note my kids also have smaller homemade abacuses they keep in their own homeschool boxes.  They prefer the "real" ones, but if we play a game, they can use the homemade ones.)

For this, we use a little box that we have owned for probably about 15 years - it looks like a little briefcase.  I have each deck type in a ziplock bag, and the multiplication cards in the envelopes.  It is a bit of a tight fit, but it works.   I've been tempted to buy card holders for each deck - the dollar store has some for card collections - but I figure the chances of them fitting the cards nicely, and the boxes fitting in my holder.... well, lets just say I haven't bothered to spend the $1 each....

And this is the main items stacked up - not including the books.  I use a little white board, and it stays outside the math box as we use it for other subjects.

I hope this helps!


  1. Thanks for sharing, this is what I need. I just got my manipulative set.

    1. I hope it works out well for you! I've seen some pictures of other setups for the card games that I'd love to try - but this is working so far. One minor modification I made is I moved the appendices to the box with the manuals... now the 3 pencil cases fit better.