Friday, October 5, 2018


Here's a video where you can watch me demonstrate the math tools:

Math Mats
Math mats are a “hands on” way to give children concrete experiences with addition and subtraction. Trim a file folder to make a 12” square. Draw a line down the middle of the square as shown. Draw a line down the middle of the top section. Explain that the line in the middle is like the equal sign in an equation. What is on the top has to equal (be the same as) what is on the bottom.  
Note! Poker chips, small toys, natural items, small erasers, and other objects can be used with the math mat.  You can also make smaller math mats from an 8" square.

Demonstrate how to use counters to make a set in the top left section and a set in the top right section. Count. Pull down the objects into the bottom section and count how many altogether.

Use counters to demonstrate subtraction.

Missing Addend 
”If I have 3 and I want 8, how many more do I need? Let’s put 8 in the bottom. Now, move 3 to the top. How many more do you think I’ll need?” Continue to let children move the counters to solve similar problems.

Note! Have children write the number sentence when you do these activities.

Hint! You can also use divided plates for adding and subtracting 2 numbers. Children will “eat this up” with dry cereal!
Bats in the Cave

You will need some small plastic toys and a plastic or Styrofoam bowl. Turn the bowl upside down and draw an arch similar to an opening in a cave.

*This is game is really fun this time of year because you can use plastic bat rings or spider rings.

Place several toys on the table in front of the “cave” and count. Ask the children to hide their eyes as you hide several of the toys in the cave. Can they figure out how many are in the cave?

Hint! Ask, “How did you know that?” When children explain their thinking process it helps other classmates scaffold to a higher level.

Math Bags

Children will be able to manipulate objects to demonstrate different number bonds with these math bags.  You will need zip sandwich bags, permanent marker, small flat counters (buttons, poker chips, lima beans, glass pebbles).

Draw a line down the middle of a bag with a permanent marker. Insert objects in the bag. Ask the children to count the objects in the bag. Slide the objects from one side to the other to make different combinations. Can they write down the different combinations?