Tuesday, October 20, 2020


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.


A ten frame will give children another "hands-on" way to explore math concepts.
Note!  Five, ten, and twenty frames are available to download on the internet.


Building Sets
Call out a number and demonstrate how to place the counters in the frame starting on the left. Remind them to always start with the first frame on the left.
*Turn the frame vertically to make sets.
*Can you place the counters in a different way?
*Have children count forwards and backwards on their frames.

Addition and Subtraction
Place counters for the first addend on the top row and the second addend in the bottom row. How many altogether?
*Take away counters for subtraction problems.

Double Frames
Extend to a double ten frame for building numbers to 20.


Trace around the children's fingers and cut out. Glue the palms to a sheet of paper. Do not glue the fingers because you want to be able to move them up and down to demonstrate addition and subtraction.