Reflection: Unit Planning 5 Little Ducks - Introduction to Subtraction - Section 1: Attention Grabber/Introduction


A good number of my students first learned the finger play “5 Little Ducks” in the beginning of kindergarten, earlier this year. Ideally, the students learned this back in preschool and it has become an “old hat” sort of activity, but I realize in those early days that some of the preschool “classics” weren’t necessarily part of the curriculum at the one Head Start where my students attended preschool. In the beginning of kindergarten, though, I make sure we build our own background knowledge! When we’ve been sitting for more than say, 15 minutes, when kindergarten begins, I mix it up with a “5 Little” finger play! Here’s a secret: Don’t just sing these finger plays with the kids; completely rock them. What this does is separate “kindergarten style” finger plays from preschool finger plays (for any kiddo who many have learned these finger plays earlier. In this way, we are sort of “backfilling” and providing experience for students who may have very limited early academic backgrounds, and for other students who may have some background knowledge, we are taking what they know to the next level. Then, of course, we begin the most complicated math in kindergarten—subtraction—referring back to super fun finger plays.  

  Creating our own "background knowledge"
  Unit Planning: Creating our own "background knowledge"
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5 Little Ducks - Introduction to Subtraction

Unit 11: Subtraction
Lesson 1 of 4

Objective: SWBAT use ducks on a pond math mat, using a familiar finger play, to show subtraction.

Big Idea: We use a classic finger play to exemplify the basic concepts of taking 1 away--subtraction!

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david our daddy
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