Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Letter Z (Zebra Math)

Wow!  Hard to believe that we are at the end of "the alphabet". We didn't use alphabetical order this year but the last three letters did end up being X, Y and Z.  And since next week is Spring Break...it worked out perfectly!  One of today's activities and a free printable for you...

Though we could use this little kit in many different ways, my goal for the kiddos was to work with addition and subtraction signs and continue to familiarize themselves with a ten frame.  We've done plenty of hands on math story problems but now we are moving on to seeing the symbols and the more formal way of working with addition and subtraction problems. 

First, we talked about the addition and subtraction signs.  My preference is to use the terms "add and subtract" but they will also hear other ways of talking about addition and subtraction so I use those terms as well.  For the purpose of this activity I used "add more" and "take away". 
 Next, we worked with our ten frame a bit.  Counting the spaces on our zebra ten frame mat, putting a bean in each space (from left to right) and coming up with 10.  :-)  When all the spaces are filled, the number is ten.  Then we "took away" the bottom row of beans and counted five.  When only the top row is filled it equals five.  Then we "added" the bottom row of beans again (5 more) and reinforced that 5+5=10 and when all the spaces have a bean, the number is 10.
Then, I brought out our zebra number circles.  We went through them, naming the number and putting them in order from 1 to 20.  We found number ten and noticed the numbers that were more than ten...going forward on the number line (adding more).  Then we found ten again and noticed the numbers that were less than ten...going backwards on the number line (taking away).

Finally, we put it all together.  They chose a number circle and stated the number and put the correct number of beans on their ten frame (from left to right and top to bottom).  Then, at the beginning, they added more or took away the beans to make ten.  After they figured it out, they placed their number circle in the correct column, either with the plus sign or the minus sign.  You know what was exciting for me?  By the time we were finishing up...they didn't have to actually add or take away the beans to know which sign they number circle went with!  It showed to me that they were internalizing what 10 on the ten frame looked like and what the terms add and subtract/take away looked like.  Success!
Like I said, there are many ways to use this mini math kit.  I'd love to hear how you would use it/or have used it with your students!

Some pics of other things we did today.  Fine motor, scissors, sensory, art...


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