This summer I was a guest blogger for Rachel Lynette’s Minds-in-Bloom. I wrote a post titled “Classroom Finds from the Hardware Store,” and in it I mention the use of tile spacers when teaching adding and subtracting integers; I had several people ask me exactly how I use these, and I am just now getting around to writing a blog post on it. I hope you find it useful!
Tile spacers are those little, rubbery “+-shaped doodads” (sorry to get so technical;-) that tile layers use to perfectly arrange tile in order create those straight, uniform grout lines. You can find them in your hardware store, near the tile and grout. They are typically white, but when I recently purchased a bag they were bright neon orange! If you can find these bright ones, grab them up; they are so much easier to find on the floor of your classroom during “clean-up.” I purchased this bag from Lowe’s for $6. You get 500 pieces, so you’ll need two bags if you want to make a class set for 33 students.