Summary
Students will practice their addition and subtraction skills by participating in center activities.
Materials
- How Many, How Many,
How Many by Rick Walton
Ship, Captain, Crew
- 2 dice
- Scratch paper/math
journal
Read My Mind
Bull's-eye Bean Bag
For each group:
For each student:
Domino Addtion/Subtraction Sentences
For each group:
Dominos in All
For each group:
- Set of dominos
- Teacher/adult helper
Domino Directions
For each group:
For each student:
Matching Addition and Subtraction
For each group:
Number Trains
Break the Tower
Ten Frame Additions and Subtraction
How Many in the Cave?
- Paper cup (opaque)
- Counters
Red/Yellow Toss
Bowling Alley Subtraction
Elevator Addition and Subtraction
For each group:
For each student:
- Paperclips
- 4 counters (each a
different color)
Catching Fireflies
For the class:
For each student:
- Small jar or paper cup
- 10 small beads, popcorn
kernels, or counters
Additional Resources
Books
- How Many, How Many, How Many, by Rick Walton;
ISBN 1-56402-656-6
- Ten Flashing Fireflies, by Philemon Sturges; ISBN 1-55858-674-1
Background for Teachers
This lesson is designed to give the teacher effective activities
for students to do during center time, stations, workshop time, etc. During
center time, students work in small groups on various tasks. Each center
has a different task for the students to complete. Students rotate through
centers in a pattern set up by the teacher. Center time is great for
cooperative learning, exploration, and small group instruction. Each
teacher will run center time differently depending on his/her students,
classroom, special needs, and teaching style. This lesson does not tell
you how to organize centers; that is left up to the teacher. However,
this lesson provides activities that can be used during center time. Many of
these activities may also be done as whole class activities.
Intended Learning Outcomes
2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility.
5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills.
Instructional Procedures
Invitation to Learn
Begin by reading How Many, How Many, How Many. This book
helps students think about numbers. While you are reading the book,
stop and draw attention to the illustrations. Have students create
addition and subtraction sentences that go along with the pictures.
Because these activities are designed to be used during center time, any of
them could be used as an invitation to learn on a different day
prior to a specific math lesson. Also, the activity discussed above could
be used as a center activity where the teacher or other adult helper is
available to guide the group's learning.
Instructional Procedures
Ship, Captain, Crew
This game is played in pairs.
Each student may have up to four rolls per turn. The winner is the
player who has the largest "crew." You must roll a "ship" and
a"captain" before you can roll for your crew. To get the "ship," you
must roll a 6 (It cannot be a combination of two or more dice. It must
be a six on one die.). To get the "captain," you must roll a 5 (Again,
not
a combination of two or more dice. It must be a 5 on one die.).
- Player one
rolls all four dice. If the player rolls a 5 or 6 on one
die, then s/he sets the die aside and rolls the remaining dice.
- After both a 5 and 6 have been rolled, the player adds the
remaining two dice to get the number of his/her "crew." The player
can only roll four times total. If the player does not roll a "ship" or
a "captain" in four rolls, then his/her score
is zero.
- Player two goes after player one has finished rolling. The player
with the largest "crew" wins. Players do not have to roll four
times. They may stop after one or two rolls if they feel they are
finished and satisfied with the number of their "crew."
Example
Player one rolls all four dice and gets 2, 4, 6, 2. The 6 counts as
the "ship," so it is set aside and s/he rolls the remaining
three dice
and gets 3, 6, 2. Player one still needs a "captain" (5), so
all three
dice are rolled again. This time the player one gets 5,1,6. The 5
is set aside, because it is the "captain," and the player then
adds the remaining two dice (6 + 1 = 7). Player one has only rolled
three times, so there is the option to stay with 7 or take the two
dice and roll again in hopes of getting something higher. Player
one chooses to roll again. (Both dice must be rolled again even
though one die was a 6.) Player one rolls a 2 and 3 (2 + 3 = 5).
Even though 7 is greater than 5, player one must stay with 5
because it was the last roll.
It is now player two's turn. All four
dice are rolled and s/he gets
1, 3, 5, 5. Player two takes one 5 and sets it aside (it is the"captain").
The three remaining dice are rolled again to get 5, 2, 4. Still no "ship," so
all three are rolled again to get 1, 1, 3.
Still no "ship," so the dice are rolled for a final time to get
2, 4, 5. Player two has rolled four times and didn't get a "ship,"
so his/her score is 0.
Player one wins the first round. Players record their
wins using tally marks on scratch paper or their math journal. The number
of rounds the students play may be determined by the teacher. As an
extension, students write about their experiences or strategies in
their journals.
Read My Mind
- Mix up the Read My Mind Number Cards and place them face
down in one pile. Three students sit in a small circle so they
can all see each other. One player hands the other two players
one card each. No one may look at the cards at this time.
- At the same time, the two players with cards hold their card on
their forehead so the other players can see it, but they can't see
their own card.
- The player with no card then silently adds the two numbers
together and says the sum aloud.
- The first player to figure out what the
number on his/her forehead
is, wins. Students figure this out because they know the sum and
they can see one of the addends on the other player's forehead.
- The
winner trades places with the player who dealt the cards and
found the sum.
Example
Player one is given the number 3 and holds it on his/her forehead
(s/he has not seen the card, but the other players can see it).
Player two is given the number 4 and holds it on his/her forehead
(s/he has not seen his/her card, but s/he can see the 3). Player
three can see both of the cards and so he silently adds them in his
head and says, "The sum is 7." Player one can see that the player
two has a 4 and s/he knows the sum is 7, so s/he determines s/he
has a 3. Player one says, "Three." S/he is correct and the winner,
so s/he switches places with player three and another round
continues.
Bull's-eye Bean Bag
- For
this activity, take the poster board
and with a marker, draw a Bull's-eye
with seven circles going from
smallest to largest. Using the
numbers 0-6, write one number in
each circle.
- Students take turns tossing both bean
bags onto the poster board.
- Use the numbers that the bean bags
land on in an addition or subtraction sentence.
- Students must write the
correct addition or subtraction sentence
and the answer on the Bean Bag Toss Record Sheet. Math journals
may be used instead.
Example
Player one tosses both bean bags onto the poster board. One bean
bag lands on the circle with the number 2 and the other lands on
the circle with the number 5. The student then writes the addition
sentence and solves the problem (2+5=7). The next player takes
his/her turn.
Domino Addition/Subtraction Sentences
- For addition,
students choose one domino at a time and write the
addition sentence that matches the dots using numbers and
symbols or words.
- For subtraction, students choose one domino at a time
and write
the subtraction sentence that matches the dots, making sure they
write the larger number first, using numbers and symbols or
words.
- Students record their number sentences on scratch paper or a math
journal.
Dominos in All
- This activity is designed to help
students see different number
combinations. The teacher or adult helper would say, "5 dots in
all." Students would then look for dominos with a total of 5.
Students may find a domino with a combination of 1 dot and 4
dots, one with a combination of 0 dots and 5 dots, or one with a
combination of 2 dots and 3 dots.
- Students write the different number sentence
combinations on
chart paper, white boards, or in math journals.
- The adult helper then chooses a different sum and the
activity starts all over again.
Domino Directions
This activity helps students see that
addition and subtraction sentences can be
written horizontally or vertically.
- Students
take one domino at a time and write
the addition or subtraction sentence vertically and horizontally.
- Students
must draw the dots on the dominos to match their
equations.
- To help identify the larger number for subtraction sentences,
students circle the domino side with the most dots.
- The dots and addition
and subtraction sentences are recorded on
the Domino
Directions Addition or Subtraction Sheet.
Matching Addition and Subtraction
- Students match
numerals, number words, or addition and
subtraction sentences that represent the same amount.
- These cards can be
used to play a matching memory game
where all cards are placed face down, and students alternate
turning over two cards.
- If a match is found, then the player gets to keep
the cards, and the
turn is over. If no match is found, then the player turns the cards
face down again.
- These cards can also be used to play a card game like "Go
Fish"
where students ask another student for a particular number and
then match pairs, or find all four cards that represent the same
amount.
- The winner of the card game is the student with the most matches.
Number Trains
This game is played in pairs.
- The players start by putting 20 cubes together
to make a tower,
then lay the tower horizontally on their desk so that it looks like a
train.
- The goal is to get rid of all the cubes. The players work as a team
to accomplish this.
- Players start by spinning the Number Train Plus/Minus
Spinner to
determine if they will add or subtract and roll the dice or number
cube to see how many. If a spin or roll combination calls for
adding more cubes than twenty, or taking away more cubes than
are left, the players need to spin and roll again until they can
make a move on the train.
- In order to begin the game, students must spin
a subtraction sign
on the spinner because they cannot add any more cubes to their
train.
- Each student should record the number sentence for every turn on
the Number Train Number Sentence worksheet.
- To win the game, the partners
should have a final equation listed
on their record sheet that equals zero. Point out that the next
equation on the worksheet will always start with the answer from
the equation above, because the beginning train for each turn is
the same as the ending train of the previous turn.
A math journal may be
used in place of the Number Train
Number Sentence record sheet.
Break the Tower
- Give each student a specific number
of Unifix® cubes and a
Break the Tower Record Sheet.
- Have the students put their cubes
together to make a tower and
place the tower behind their back. Either leave it whole or break it
into two groups so there are cubes in each hand.
- Students count the number
of cubes in each hand and write the
equation on the Break the Tower Record Sheet.
- Students put the tower back
together, place it behind their back,
and break it again for a different equation.
- This is a great way for students
to see all different number
combinations that have the same answer.
A math journal may be used in place
of the Break the Tower
Record Sheet.
Ten Frame Addition and Subtraction
This activity requires either the teacher or an adult helper.
- Give each student
a Ten Frame worksheet and 10 counters. The
teacher or adult helper starts the game with a specified number.
- Students
place one counter in each square for each number they
count until they reach the specified number.
- Model how to fill the Ten
Frame, starting with the upper left
square and filling across the top row before moving to the lower
left hand corner.
- After students have the specified number on their Ten
Frame, the
adult helper or teacher says a new number and the students must
decide if they need to add or subtract.
Example
The first number was 6, so the Ten Frame showed six counters.
The teacher then called out 9. Students respond verbally, "Add
three," and place 3 more counters on their Ten
Frame. The
teacher might then call out 4, students respond, "Minus five," and
take 5 counters off their Ten Frame.
- Equations may be recorded on chart
paper or in math journals.
How Many in the Cave?
This game works well in pairs.
- Give each pair of students a specific number
of counters and
one cup.
- While one student covers his/her eyes, the other student takes
some of the counters and places them in the "cave" (under the
cup).
- The student who was covering his/her eyes then tries to guess the
number of counters in the cave.
- Students determine this out because they
know the number they
started with and they can see the number that is not in the cave.
- Players
switch places and the game continues.
Number sentences may be recorded in a math journal.
Red/Yellow Toss
This game works well in pairs.
- Students take a specific number of 2-sided
counters and place
them in the paper cup.
- Shake it and dump the counters onto the table.
- Sort the counters according
to the color of the side they landed on
and record the toss on the Red/Yellow Toss record
sheet.
- One student writes
the addition sentence using the number of red
counters first, the other student writes the addition sentence using
the number of yellow counters first. Point out that no matter the
order of the addends, the sum is still the same. This helps teach
the order property of addition.
Bowling Alley Subtraction
- Fill the 2-liter soda
bottles about half full of water. Set them up
on the floor in a triangle bowling pin formation. Mark off a line
with tape about 6 feet away.
- Students take turns rolling the kick ball
to knock down the pins.
After each turn, students must write down the subtraction
sentence on their record sheet and set the pins back up for the
next person.
This game is also fun as a class competition. You can divide the
class into teams and have several lanes going at one time. The
winning team is the one who knocks down the most pins overall.
A math journal may be used in place of the Subtraction
Bowling Alley worksheet.
Elevator Addition and Subtraction
Each player starts on the first floor.
- Players take turns spinning both Elevator
Spinners and moving
their game piece accordingly up and down the Elevator
Game Board.
- If a player spins a move that may not be taken, s/he must
spin
again.
- The first player to make it to the top floor and back down to the
bottom floor wins.
Players write addition and subtraction sentences for each
turn in
their math journals.
Catching Fireflies
Addition or subtraction may be the focus of this activity,
depending on the students' needs. The teacher or adult helper
reads Ten Flashing Fireflies aloud.
- As the story is read, students use the
jars and beads (fireflies) to
represent what is taking place in the story.
- After each page in the story,
the teacher or adult helper stops
and has the students write the addition or subtraction sentence
that was just modeled using the beads and cups.
Chart paper, math journals, or white boards may be used to record
the addition or subtraction sentences.
Extensions
- Many of these activities are
easy to integrate into writing
activities. Students could write about the activities, make
predictions, and write about the outcomes. Even though these
activities are all addition and subtraction based, it is easy to take
the same concept and adapt it to time, money, measurement, etc.
- These activities
are also great for early finishers, transition time,
and even whole class activities.
- The activities in this lesson are written
in a way that all students
should be able to participate and receive the educational benefit
from doing so. These activities will reach a variety of learning
styles and can be easily adapted for students with special needs.
- Each activity
in this lesson is different and will require unique
accommodations for children with special needs or ELL students.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Assign peer partners to students who need extra
help.
- For activities that already require partners, an additional
student could be added to groups to help and assist in any
way.
- Worksheets may be enlarged for students who have difficulty
seeing well.
- Students who have difficulty writing may give their answers
orally.
- Pictures may be added to worksheets to help illustrate the
meaning for ELL students.
- Special needs students may need fewer problems.
Family Connections
All of these activities would
be excellent homework assignments
for students to do with their families. Copy the description of the
activity and send it home with the students along with any
necessary supplies. This is a fun way to involve family members
in math education.
Assessment Plan
- Assessments vary with each activity. The majority of
the
activities require students to record their findings or thoughts in
journals. Reviewing students' journal entries is an effective
assessment strategy.
- Some of the activities also will have a final outcome
or project.
This is also a main source of assessment, as student understanding
affects the outcome of the final result or project.
- Some of the activities
also have worksheets that students
complete while working on the activity. These worksheets are
also excellent sources of assessment.
- Observing student behavior and dialogue
throughout the activities
is an effective informal assessment for teachers.
Bibliography
Research Basis
Stahl, R.J. (1994). The Essential Elements of Cooperative Learning in the
Classroom. ERIC
Digest, ED370881.
This article supports cooperative learning and gives 14 essential
elements for a successful cooperative learning framework. Teachers
report academic gains when cooperative learning is implemented.
Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom
Instruction That Works.
This book supports many different teaching methods that are
successful in today’s classroom. Cooperative Learning, hands on
activities, and multiple intelligences are among the things covered in this
book.