Montessori and Math Their Way teach math in hands-on learning center tasks, as opposed to paper and-pencil lessons. Here's a homemade mini math learning center. Use this shoebox math facts practice kit for independent, on-the-go learning. Retention of math facts and operations is vital for higher math. Use this math homework practice kit to reinforce addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts.

Children should practice 5-10 minutes 4-5 times a week. In a shoebox or plastic lidded box, place these items

--color-coded list of digits. For example: 0-yellow, 1-blue, 2-red, 3-orange, 4-purple, 5-green, 6-brown, 7-pink, 8-black, 9-gray. Some 1,983 would be written blue-1, gray-9,black-8 and orange-3. Color coding helps many students visualize and organize numbers, learn place value and memorize math facts,

--set of dice. Practice math facts by casting die and adding or multiplying two numbers shown.

--set of dominoes (base 12 set is best) or homemade"domino"flash cards made from index cards. Write domino dot configuration in number color from chart. Student selects a domino and adds, subtracts or multiplies the two numbers. Write answers on back for self-checking. Here are free printable dominoes.

--deck of playing cards--student chooses two cards and adds, subtracts, or multiplies them. Face cards are valued as such:(ace-1, jack-10, queen, 12 and king-0) Here's a free printable deck of playing cards.

--math flashcards for each fact family. Purchase at Dollar Tree or discount store. Here are freeprintable math flashcards. Make flashcards by writing math fact (problem) in color code on one side and the answer on the back.

--pencil, eraser and scrap paper squares--student writes out a fact family, or writes story problems, illustrating with items to represent (three apples times seven apples). Use for pop quizzes also.

--tablet of small stickers or mini-stamper marker-- Child makes his own flashcards with stickers and scrap paper, for the math facts family on which he's working.

--100 chart or cheat sheet. Student uses to skip count by different numbers (multiply), look for patterns, or practice facts. Here are free printable 100 charts.

--yarn strung with 100 plastic beads. This homemade abacus is a great visual for math operations. Give student a problem, like 7x8, She counts out and add seven groups of eight.

--food snacks with little pieces; fish crackers, breakfast cereal, raisins, candies, pretzels. Students demonstrate math facts with food while eating it.

Keep math facts practice kit in the car. Use travel time for homework reinforcement.