Wednesday, March 19, 2014

'Building' Our Knowledge of Addition...1 Tower At A Time!

Today, while working with my kinders at one of our math centers, one of my kids said 'This is FUN math!'  
Ahh...the words we love to hear....that make the endless hours of planning and prepping seem like a walk in the park!
So what was this 'FUN MATH?'

So how exactly do these towers work?

There are 2 sets of spinners- the yellow/green and the red/blue (matching the connecting cube colors I have the most of!)
Each set of spinners has one color with numbers and one color with dice.

They start with a blank number line strip from 1 to 10, 2 spinners, a paperclip, pencil and bucket of cubes.

1. Roll the 'number' spinner and count out that many of that color cube
2. Roll the 'dice' spinner and add that many of that color to your tower.
3. Count up all the cubes on your tower and place it on the corresponding number on the number line!

This shows how the students is adding the green cubes to the yellow cubes

Use a paperclip as the spinner.  They get the hang of it real quick!  I find the jumbo clips work the best!

Count up the cubes in your tower and place it on the number line

Keep rolling, counting and adding until all the spots are full

If your tower equals the same as a tower you already have on the number line, you have to 'knock it down' and try again!

This student knew he needed to roll a 4 to add to the 5 yellow cubes in order to get 9 to finish his number line (stairs, as they called it!)
As you can see, sometimes only 1 color was in a tower- that was when a '0' was spun for one of the colors!

All done!


We talked about how our towers all had the same numbers (1-10) but that they looked different because of the different numbers of colored blocks.  There were so many different combinations that were rolled!  It is a great segment into fact families, number bonds, composing numbers, etc!

I had a recording sheet to go along with it, but by the time we were done making our towers, our math center time was up.  I am thinking of revisiting this center in a few weeks when we do our 'composing numbers' unit and have them only work with the number lines to 5 and then have them record their findings!

You can find all the materials (less the blocks) to complete this center here :

On the same topic, we recently worked in groups to practice composing numbers using our Composing Monster!  You can get your directions and printables seen here, free, by clicking this picture:

 I printed the large monster printable from the pack and glued it to chart paper.
I added the 'frame' for the number sentences from FULL support to NO support:

 I then divided the children into 4 groups and gave them a monster, dice, counters, poster and marker.  I had them decide how to work as a team- who would be the roller, feeder, writer, etc!  MOST groups decided to work by rotating the jobs!  I was so impressed by their ability to work so well together!

The 'roller' rolled the dice- once for the first number and again for the second number.  The 'recorder' wrote the numbers.  The 'feeder' fed the monster the 1st amount on side 1 of his 'mouth' and the 2nd amount on side 2 of his 'mouth.'  The 'counter' counted up all that came out and the 'recorder' wrote the answer.

They wrote it both as a number 'picture' and then transferred it to a number 'sentence!'

For the last one, they had to figure out to write numbers, as well as the plus and equals signs.

This is the example I did- the black shows what was given- the pink shows what was expected of them to fill in.

 Here are our completed posters....AMAZING!!

I was so impressed I just had to turn them into a bulletin board display!

SO, when we got to subtraction, I wanted them to work in teams again.
This time there were less jobs to 'divide'...
 Most groups figured out to pass the marker so that each got a chance to record.  And they worked together to figure out how to fill in the number story to tell about the subtraction pictures!

Another GREAT display of well as understanding numbers and basic operations!

But the most exciting thing...tomorrow SPRING begins!
So we made these adorable projects today!

This idea was inspired by a pinterest pin and idea I saw on Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners blog, but I added a writing component twist!

We brainstormed the colors of the rainbow and items that could be each color.  I then sent them off to make 6 'strips' and to write something for each color of the rainbow.

We had painted our plates the day before, so they were all dry and ready to go.  In a pinch, you could use yellow party plates or have them color the plates yellow.  Even a half circle of yellow construction paper would work if you can't do paint!

 I showed them how to make a 'bubble' or 'cloud' around their word so that when they colored it the word did not get covered.

 They glued the strips to the plate, added a face and some 'rays' (or as they called them- spikes!) and WAL-AH... SPRING is here!!!!
They are not only cute, but have fun kinder sound spelling- which always brightens my day and smile!

So to help kick off and welcome spring, be sure to visit my TPT store tomorrow, March 20th, for 20% off EVERYTHING!
It has been a LONG winter, so we need to celebrate and ring it in so that it knows we want it to stay!
Stock up on tons of fun Spring Resources!

But a sale can't simply be enough after THIS WINTER! 
SO, enter this Rafflecopter to win a $5 Spring item of your choice from my TPT Store!
I will select 3 winners!
Contest ends at 11:59 pm EST 3/20/2014!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!
Until next post,
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  1. Love all of your stuff especially the monster! We've been using it for addition and it's great! Thanks for sharing and the chance to win.

  2. I love your materials. I use them with my students quite frequently. I hope I win! :)

  3. Such a fun way to practice addition skills!! Love it!!! I love teaching Spring! I cannot decide if bugs or plants is my favorite unit. So many fun hands-on activities for both.

  4. Every garden.....bugs, flowers, sun, all the best of Spring

  5. I love teaching about the weather and plants in spring!


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