Addition and Subtraction Fun!

You're probably reading the title of this blog post and thinking
"How much fun can addition and subtraction be?"
My students really enjoyed using hands-on manipulatives and playing games these past couple of weeks to help us learn these important math concepts.
I had the pleasure of visiting another kindergarten teacher in my board last week, Ms. Cicinelli.
Her classroom was absolutely amazing and so inspiring!
I was very intrigued by the concept of her using multiple 10-frames with student pictures inside each box to demonstrate the many ways we can represent numbers and also to aid the students in reading and identifying numbers quickly and easily on a 10-frame.
I love how I can ask a student to tell me what number they are on this 10-frame.  Or I will ask them the opposite:  who is number 12?
Each day I have been mixing up their pictures to add to the excitement!
I thought about creating something similar and extending that idea while introducing addition and subtraction concepts.
When we started learning about addition, I wanted students to understand that you can get MORE when you add numbers together and that the answer is called a sum.
I showed them this fantastic video from Harry Kindergarten.
The children also learned to read addition sentences and worked with double-sided counters on these addition mats.
First, the students count out the number of counters needed and place them in separate circles.
Then they bring them altogether into the bottom green circle to find the answer.
My good friend and former colleague, Ms. Alves, introduced me to these addition mats years ago and I love how visual and simple they are for the students to use.
The students understood the concept of addition very quickly!
We moved on to subtraction last week.  Once again, I began by explaining that when we subtract, we take away, or have LESS.
At first, the concept was a little difficult to understand.
My students are definitely visual learners and absolutely love songs so I found another Harry Kindergarten video to show them on my Bright Links board.
If you haven't heard of Harry Kindergarten you HAVE to check out his catchy and fun songs on You Tube!
We then used the back of the addition mats (which are blank) to solve simple addition sentences.
We will be working some more with 10-frames this week...stay tuned!


  1. Oh what a great activity that I can just whip up. Just pinned this! Thanks!

  2. I love the idea of using their pictures on the 10 frames. I can't wait to try that next year! We do the addition mat activity with zoo plates. We use the 2 smaller sections for the addends and join them together in the larger section. This also helps reinforce the idea that addition is taking 2 smaller numbers and combining them to get a larger number.
    Teachin' First


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