Using concrete materials in the Early Years is a MUST to assist the little ones in grasping these new and sometimes tricky math concepts. Materials like Unifix cubes, blocks, teddies and counters work brilliantly but if you are after something a little bit more engaging, why not try SMARTIES!!
Make Subtraction FUN with Smarties!
We introduced subtraction to our little ones this week and what better way to do it than with some sugar!
This Smarties Subtraction lesson worked a treat! :P (pun intended!)
Here’s what we did:
Each student was given a box of Smarties and was asked to lay them all out in a row and count how many there were in their box. (Each box of mini smarties contains between 11 – 13 Smarties.)
Children recorded the total number of Smarties that they had in their box and were then allowed to eat a few! :) They were then asked to count how many were remaining and record this using a subtraction number sentence. (Shown below)
Each child continued eating their Smarties and recorded their number sentences until there were none left. FUN RIGHT??!!!
WHOLE CLASS LESSON:
Following this lesson, we then discussed our findings and described what subtraction actually is and what happens to numbers when we subtract; Ie: the number gets smaller.
We practised creating subtraction number sentences as a class on whiteboards and discussed what each part of the number sentence represents.
This was a great opportunity to share the various subtraction strategies that can be used to help solve subtraction problems. Materials such as hundreds charts and a number lines were mentioned as things we can use to assist in ‘Counting Back’ as well as the ‘Jump Method’.
We will revisit these strategies over the next few lessons and go into them in more detail throughout the term. As I introduce and model each new strategy to my class, I always make sure they have a visual in the classroom so that if can be referred to when the children are working independently. I ensure I introduce and display each strategy one at a time to ensure they are not overwhelmed.
Subtraction Strategies – Resources
The posters I use with my grade are linked below.
They are available in 2 themes to match your classroom; Rainbow and Black Strip.
**Suitable for Foundation (Kindergarten) all the way up to grade 4 as they are differentiated to suit the various abilities in your grade.