I believe that is is very important to keep learning math fun and hands on for all students, but even more important for the younger students. Math can get very complicated very quickly and if students are starting to fall behind it is important that you do not move on to the next thing until all aspects of what is being taught are taught. I read an article titled "Mr. Poppers Penguin" and learned a lot about math and how to teach it. I learned that it is important to try to keep abstractions to a minimum when teaching younger children algebra. For example do not introduce variables like x and y. This has a tendency to throw many students off. I also learned that using key words like "left over" and "total" can really help children identify with the problem that they are working on.
After reading this article I really got to thinking about what I could do to make sure that I am doing everything that I can to reach out to all of my students. So I tried to think more like an Elementary math student. I realized that perhaps if students where asked to bring small objects from home like pencils, erasers, jelly beans, marbles, etc. that that may help them engage more in what they are learning. It may put a more personal tough on the problem at hand. It may also inspire them to do more hands on work at home.
Another thing that I thought of was integrating math and reading. Many students have a tendency to strive in one subject but not in another. If there is a way to integrate both math and reading into your classroom maybe it will reach out to more students and make more students feel successful, regardless of what subject they may be working on.