What are some of the best and most useful math manipulatives you have made yourself? For one of my classes I need to create a classroom set of math manipulatives for my students. I want to make something that I will use over and over. I already have the place value tents. Any other suggestions? Thanks.

I like to use toothpicks and twist-ties for children to practice tens and ones, regrouping. They can also be used for multiplication practice and division. children use the twist-ties to group toothpicks (ones) into tens, or into multiples.

Keys---I collected old keys. I could use them in math as counters, we sorted them, we pattern with them, we use them in science to determine if different metals sink/float, which are magnetic. So Keys for me.

ditto on the place value tent question. I use straws and twist ties/pipe cleaners to make 2D and 3D shapes.

Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. Place value tents are place value cards that help students understand place value. To make the number 3217, the students would start with the 3000, place the 200 on top, place the 10 on top, followed by the 7. All four cards align on the right side. Also, each place value set is color coded. The tens could be blue, the hundreds could be green, etc. I call them tents because the cards are folded like tents so that the number appears on one side and not the other. You don't have to fold them. You could just have flat cards.