Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Make a Cookie Sheet Math Board (and recycle!)

Want to make a useful, fun tool for your students? How about recycling a cookie sheet? Here's how!

1. Find a cookie sheet that's ready to be discarded. You know...the kind that flakes questionable gunk onto your baked goods. Check yardsales, Goodwill, and your mom. Make sure that magnets will stick to it. Not all will work.

2. Spray paint the edge of the tray. I let mine dry about 24 hours.

3. Get some contact paper. If you want the board for math purposes, you'll want to make grid lines. I used my quilting ruler, rotary cutting mat and drew lines with a Black Sharpie in a 1" grid.

4. Cut the contact paper to fit the flat inside of the cookie sheet. Top with a decorative ribbon if you like.

My cookie sheet had a hole at the top; I attached a nylon cord through the hole so that I could hang it up. It can now be used in a hanging position or kids can take it down for lap or table use. I hung mine on the back side of a small end table since wall space is at a premium. I think the kids will enjoy the private math corner (perhaps use it more!), but we'll also take it down and use it elsewhere.

Put it to use with some fabulous math lessons:

Manipulatives pictured: magnetic tile, magnetic base ten pieces, magnetic pattern blocks
The magnet manipulatives came from The Math Learning Center. It's a non-profit. My disclaimer: I don't get any kick-back from pointing you there, but I do some contract work for them occasionally. I tried to find links to the products on Amazon, but came up empty handed. I often purchase math manipulatives from MLC because they tend to have low prices.

Tomorrow I'll be stopping at the thrift store to find a few cookie sheets that need a second wind. :) I'd like to make a decorative message center. Another idea...addition/subtraction using cookies with magnets on them.

Go recycle! ;)

And check out more great math lessons at this week's Math Monday Blog Hop!


  1. Very cute! You just reminded me I have some magnetic tiles that I can use for this.

  2. I have cookie sheets in my classroom, but nothing as cute as yours. Did you put magnets on the back of the math manipulatuves?


  3. Hi Mrs. Parker,

    No, those manipulatives are all purchased as magnets. I got mine from The Math Learning Center (that's where they're linked to.) I searched for them on Amazon and didn't see any.

  4. I like this idea. We use them for spelling with letter tiles. Never thought of using it for math. Do you magnetize the tiles too?

  5. Hi Phyllis,

    No, they came that way. I added a note about them to the post.

  6. What a wonderful idea. It's hard to imagine that this board started as an old cookie sheet. I can see it used for story telling too.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing.
    I love this idea and I can also use it for my magnetic periodic table ;)

  8. Thank you! Thank you! I've been thinking I was going to have to BUY brand new cookie sheets so I could have magnetic centers.....what a GREAT idea to recycle them! I'd much rather recycle the ones I have at home that are on their last leg for the classroom, & buy new ones for baking! And you made them so cute, too! I am working on this project this weekend!

    Primary Inspired

  9. Wow! Super cute idea! I love all your ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    Technology, Teaching, and Talking

  10. This is great!!! I love this Cyn :)

  11. Can I beg you to let me post this on my blog?

  12. Mrs. Coe...you mean just to link to the original post? You're welcome to link up to anything here!

  13. I found the website Freecycle.org and posted my desire to receive unwanted cookie sheets in my local area. I now have 9 sheets just waiting to be spray painted and used in my classroom. The site is designed for free things people want to give a new home, as opposed to throwing things into the landfill. You can also post your unwanted items...one person's trash is a teacher's treasure!!


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