Math Tip Monday: Teaching Addition and Subtraction

I am linking up with K’s Classroom Kreations and Theresa’s Teaching Tidbits for their monthly Math Tip Monday.  This month the focus is on teaching addition and subtraction.

Math Tip Monday Addition and Subtraction

When beginning addition and subtraction instruction I like to use math manipulatives and story problems to introduce the concept and help students visualize the operations.  We use teddy bear counters, Legos,  bingo chips, etc., but by far the favorite of the students is food!  A popular activity is when we use cookies (Cookie Crisp cereal) and cookie jar mats.  We chant a special version of “Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar” as we practice addition and subtraction.

addition subtraction cookie activity

Addtion:
(Student name) put 2 cookies in the cookie jar.  How many? Two!  One, two! Then what?
(Student name) put 3 more cookies in the cookie jar.  How many? Three! Add 3 more – one, two, three!
How many cookies are in the cookie jar? 1,2,3,4,5!  5 cookies in all are in our cookie jar!

Then we write and chant the number sentence. 2+3=5

Subtraction:
(Student name) put 8 cookies in the cookie jar.  How many? 8! 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8!
(Student name) stole 3 cookies from the cookie jar. How many? 3! Take away 3 – 1,2,3!
How many cookies are left in the cookie jar? 1,2,3,4,5! 5 cookies are left in the cookie jar!

Write and chant the number sentence. 8-3=5

When students are learning to formulate and write the equations, we take it one step at a time. We begin by counting both sets and writing the sum.

addition subtraction sets

Once this is mastered, we move on to writing the entire equation.

addition subtraction equations

Then we use counters and mats to solve and write equations and story problems.  This is the Thanksgiving mat we will be using next month.

addition subtraction Thanksgiving mat

When introducing subtraction, we first start with fun rhymes which we act out with manipulatives so students understand the concept of “taking away”.  A fall favorite is 5 Red Apples.

addition subtraction 5 red apples

Five Red Apples

Five red apples hanging in a tree
The juiciest apples you ever did see.
The wind came by and gave an angry frown
And one little apple came tumbling down
Four red apples, hanging in a tree,
The juiciest apples you ever did see.
The wind came by and gave an angry frown
And one little apple came tumbling down
Three red apples, hanging in a tree,
The juiciest apples you ever did see.
The wind came by and gave an angry frown
And one little apple came tumbling down
Two red apples, hanging in a tree,
The juiciest apples you ever did see.
The wind came by and gave an angry frown
And one little apple came tumbling down
One red apples, hanging in a tree,
The juiciest apples you ever did see.
The wind came by and gave an angry frown
And one little apple came tumbling down
No red apples, hanging in the tree.

When learning to write subtraction equations, it helps if students cross out pictures to help them visualize the concept.

subtraction

After a few months of practice, I like to do fun around the room activities that get the students up and moving.  This is one of the favorites:

Addition Around the Room Kindergarten    Addition Around the Room Kindergarten  Kindergarten Subtraction Around the Room Activity Spring Bees

If you would like to use some of the products featured in this blog post in your classroom please visit:

Thanksgiving Addition and Subtraction Practice Pages (Differentiated)

Buzzing Around the Room Learning Addition and Subtraction (Differentiated)

If you would like to view more math tips for teaching addition and subtraction make sure to check the link-up!

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