math · teaching thoughts

Addition

Most kindergarten classes are taking on addition at this time in the year. Addition is more than just memorizing facts. Often times families help their child memorize facts and then the child does not want to do that work behind understanding addition concepts. While this is not a huge deal now, it might be later on.

Educators have recognized the need to teach mental math, that is what “new” math is in the early years… mental math on paper. We teach children to not just memorize, but think math. You will see there is a lot more story problems and very few facts sheets.

Now this does not mean that we do not want children to memorize math facts, but we want them to understand the thinking behind the facts too.

For example instead saying solve 4+5, teachers might say: There are 4 large books and 5 small books on the table. How many books are on the table? We want to see the children move from drawing 4 large books and 5 small books and counting each book to moving towards 4+5=9.

For this fact, they might say:

  • Put the big number in my head and count up from there 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • that they know that 4+4 is 8 and one more is 9
  • Or they may say that 5+5 is 10 and one less is 9.

While these steps might seem like a lot to teach and learn, it is actually how you do mental addition. Look at the numbers you have, determine a fact you know and manipulate the numbers from there. We talk about making the facts less messy. Later they will learn to break down numbers into 100s, 10s and 1s and then use this breakdown to add.

Ok… so what does that mean for me as a parent? I encourage you to get your child to manipulate math facts. Tell them number stories and help them illustrate the answer. Challenge them with multiple addends. Look at addition as anything that means more.

  • 6 birds are in the tree. 4 more land on the branch. How many birds are in the tree now?
  • There are some children in the room. 3 have on jackets and 7 have on sweaters. How many children are in the room?

They also will need to solve facts with missing addends

  • There are 4 pink candies and some yellow candies on a plate. There is enough candy for 9 children to each get one piece. How many of the candies were yellow? 4+__=9 (four pink and how many yellow makes 9 pieces is this fact)
  • 10 children line up to get a drink of water. Some have their own water bottles and 2 need to get a cup. How many have their own water bottle. 10= ____ + 2

Present facts as number sentences with the answer on either side of the = sign. Use symbols to represent the missing fact piece. Often you will see a box used, but try to use other signs too, this will help later when getting into harder algebraic equations.

game · math · STEAM · story · teaching thoughts

Math and Penguins

Today we will listen to the story Penguins Love Colors by Sarah Aspinall. In this story 6 penguins, named after 6 different color plants, work together to paint a colorful picture for their mom.

Today, let’s do some math! I am going to show you a few different adaptations of this activity. Your child will need, 2 dice, a sheet of paper, a pencil, counters (goldfish crackers would work perfect and go with the penguin theme).

On the sheet of paper draw out two ten frames on the top half of the sheet and on the bottom, create three columns.

Now have your child roll the dice. They will use the counters to show the total in the ten frame at the top. If your child struggles to see how to do this, using two different color dice AND counters that match the dice colors often helps to see this process. Remember that they are NOT putting the amount of one dice in the top ten frame and the amount of the second in the bottom. The goal is to see the addition of the two numbers together. In my picture I rolled a 5 and a 6. So I have the top ten frame filled in completely and the bottom only has 1.

Next your child will record the number sentence into the columns at the bottom. Was the total less than 6, exactly 6 or more than 6? You do not need to work on saying 4 plus 1 equals 5. You could have your child state 4 and 1 more makes 5. This way of stating the fact actually matches math thinking more and will help with the understanding of addition.

Ok… so my kid just doesn’t get it… now what? First, you might need to do the steps of this activity with them a few (like 3 or 4) times before they even begin to see the steps. You can break this down and do just the top, or just the bottom. OR, you can start with on die and do the whole thing but change the bottom to less than 3, exactly 3 and more than 3.

Now… let me tell you this is a LOTTTT of math thinking. Your child needs to recognize the number on the dice. They need to transfer this information into filling in the ten frame… oh and do it with two different numbers. Now they need to count and determine the new number made. Ok… THEN they need to figure out if this new number is less than, greater than or the same as the number 6. Oh and don’t forget you then need to record the result. Just a few steps. Just a bit of math thinking and learning.

This is a simple activity that can be adapted easily and played often. The more you play games such as this, the more your child will understand the concept of putting numbers together AND comparing numbers. You can also use dominoes, playing cards or number cards you make on index cards or sheets of paper.

math

math review– numbers 1-6

Six… why six? I wanted to provide some activities you can play with a die and well that is the numbers 1-6!

Roll and write. Create a grid paper and number it 1-6. As your child rolls the die, they fill in the grid with that number. You can have them use a pencil, crayon, marker or other writing tool. They can use the same color or a different color for each number, OR a different color for each row… make it fun!

Roll a watermelon. Draw, or have your child draw, a series of watermelon slices without seeds. Draw a line under or next to each watermelon. Have your child roll a die and then write the numeral on the line. Next, they need to draw that many seeds in the watermelon slice. I typically make more than 6 so that you can have duplicate numbers.

The photos for this activity didn’t want to load… grr! But, you can find them on my Instagram @mydayinpre_k

game · math

Math Monday- Numbers and Bubbles

I did not get around to posting my topic post yesterday. Oops.. oh well I’ll call it a Mother’s day pass.

This week I have provided my students activities that deal with bubbles. Who doesn’t love bubbles? I will share links to stories and science videos tomorrow during topic Tuesday.

Here are two fun games to play with numbers and bubbles.

Count the bubbles… yep that’s it. Children at this age love an excuse to count. So blow bubbles and have them count the bubbles as they pop them. Or work on blowing bubbles and have them count the number of bubbles they can blow. Want to make it a challenge? Set a timer and each person blows bubbles for 2 minutes or so. See who can count more in that time frame.

Bump!

bump

This is a fun game that can be adapted in so many ways.

  • game board, this can be done on a piece of paper, or even on your sidewalk with chalk!
  • 2 dice
  • counters/markers (outside you can use rocks, inside anything you can put on top, clear or little are better)

Roll the dice. Add them together. Find the number on the board and cover that number. Now it is the next players turn. He/she rolls. They also cover a number, but if they roll the same number they can choose to put their piece on an uncovered number or bump their opponent off the number. (if player A rolled a 5 and player B has a piece on a 5, player A can put their piece on that 5 and take player B’s piece off the board). If you do not want to get bumped, you can double stack your piece (by rolling the same number twice). The first person to cover 5 numbers wins. (adaptation, cover the whole board and then the person with the most covers wins)

pop the bubbles

One last fun thing to do… ok, yes I said 2, but you get a bonus this time. If you have play dough, then this is a fun game for your child.

Pop the bubbles

Have your child write the numbers 1-12 or 0-10 or whatever combination of numbers you want to work on today. Give your child play dough and have him/her make play dough bubbles to match the number. Now go back and pop (squish) the bubbles to check your counting. Another skill you could practice is counting down. Have your child count up as they make the “bubbles” and then count backwards while “popping” them.

game · math

Monday Math- Frog jump addition

There are many different concepts that are taught in the early years to help set children up to master addition. We teach addition concepts without using the words addition, adding or even plus. Children at this age understand the concept of putting together. They understand AND. They do not need to, but often do, master addition facts and enjoy these concepts.

Here are a few games that you can play to work on early addition skills.

frog jumps

Frog jump on a number line-

materials: ruler/yard stick, die (dice), and a frog

Have your frog start off the end of your ruler. Roll the die and have your frog jump up that many spaces. 0 And 3 more puts your frog on 3. Roll again 3 and 4 more jumps lands your frog on 7. (this is the concept of adding on a number line).

So, here is the big thing I want you to work on with this skill…. the most important skill at this age, have your child count on from their start point. Children at this stage of math development struggle with counting if the do not start at 1 each time. They need to work at a skill called counting on. So with the second example, they would say 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. If they are struggling to count jumps and count at the same time, put a piece of paper or other writing device (white board would be great as it can be used over and over) under the ruler. Draw out the jumps, but don’t move the frog. Now, have your child count on as he/she moves the frog forward.

frogs and flies

Frog and Flies

Materials- paper, marker, something to be frogs and flies, 2 dice (two different colors would work best)

Draw a 2 x 6 grid on a sheet of paper.

Have your child roll the dice. Once die will represent frogs and the other one flies.

Have your child add the frogs and flies to the grid based on the number they roll. 2 frogs and 4 flies makes 6. You can easily flip this and compare to see more and less. I have 2 frogs and 4 flies, so I have 2 more flies than frogs.

This game works on a few skills. First it works on one-to-one correspondence. Putting one frog/fly for each number on the dice, then putting them into one box at a time…. AND comparing based on the columns are all levels of one-to-one correspondence.

Remember these are introductory skills and are not expected to be mastered, but played with and experienced

game · math

Monday Math- Roll and color/cover

This week we will be working on things to do with the weather. So for today’s math activity I decided to create a roll and cover/color activity. You can do the same skill with either covering the numbers or coloring in the spaces.

The rainbow picture I used on die and created a roll and color. I drew out a rainbow and filled the spaces with the numerals 1-6. The child will then roll the die and color based on the number they roll on the die. The goal is for your child to be able to look at the dice dot configuration and know what number it represents without counting. You also want your child to quickly recognize which numeral matches the number of dots.

In the umbrella picture, I drew raindrops (ok some look like hearts, but hey it is what it is). On each raindrop I wrote the numerals 2-12. For this set you would use two dice and have your child roll both. If your child understands addition, they can use addition facts. If not, have your child find the bigger die, in this case 6, then count up on the smaller one, 6, 7, 8. This is the counting on property. It is a beginning step of addition. If your child is confident in the dice configuration of the numbers 1-6, they should be able to move onto this concept. It might take a bit of practice to not start counting at one, but it is a key skill needed for addition.

This same concept can be used with more than two dice, or even to practice multiplication. If your child is working on multi digit numbers, you could have two different color dice and the blue is the first digit and the green is the second and they have to say that 46 is forty-six or 51 is fifty one for example.