Draw it. Draw it. Solve it!

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SWBAT solve subtraction problems by creating representations.

Big Idea

Young children need ample time to practice their subtraction skills. Activities like this one reinforce what they have learned so they can become autonomous at it.

Daily Calendar & Counting Review

15 minutes

Our math period always begins with the daily calendar. A daily calendar is essential for kids K-2 (maybe even 3). It integrates social studies with math and provides the kids opportunity to count in ordinal numbers as well as sequencing of days and months. We do our calendar through the ActivBoard using Starfall.com

Before I had an ActivBoard, I used a standard wall calendar, and it works just as well.

After calendar time, we have our daily counting practice. We count to 20 and back, count by 10's to 100 and count to 100 by 1's. I use a variety of 10's and 1's to 100 videos, but the count to 20 and back videos are always the same. They are the best videos I have found and the kids get the most out of them.

Here are the videos we use. We sing, dance, act out and celebrate counting. There are only two rules. 1) Every student MUST participate and 2) Every student must be pointing to the numbers while counting to 20 and back, and counting by 10's to 100. This causes the students to connect to the numbers as they count them. I allow them to act out the exercises and dances while counting to 100.

Count to 20 (and back)

Countdown from 20

Count by 10's to 100

Count to 100 by 1's

Direct Instruction

10 minutes

Direct instruction for this lesson begins with me reading a story. For this lesson, I share the story, Ten Furry Monsters (they love this story!). I do a think aloud as I read the story, modeling how I think through the subtraction I experience in the book as each page is read. I concentrate on the one less concept as it aids students in subitizing subtraction problems to 10.

We discuss the math and the events that take place in the book. I am careful to use mathematical vocabulary, and make connections to what students know so that these words become a part of their thinking. I then explain the activity for the day and demonstrate exactly how it is going to be played.

I shake the equation drawing cup, read the problem out loud, recording on the recording sheet and solve by drawing dots.

Guided Instruction

10 minutes

Guided instruction begins with us singing our favorite subtraction song using the video below.

After singing our song, we talk about what subtraction is and chant, Whole, part, part...that's subtraction!

I then have them walk me through a round of the activity by giving me step by step instructions.

The kids go to their tables quietly and wait for the materials to be passed out. They play as a table group taking turns passing the cup. While each student plays, the other students at the table are expected to monitor and assist the student taking his/her turn.

I walk them through enough rounds so that everyone at each table has had a chance to play with step by step instructions.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

The kids are given run of the game once I see that they are ready to take over. This is usually when they start jumping ahead of me in the step by step instructions.

Game play:

Student A (I choose who is A. It is usually a high achiever who can follow directions easily)

1) Shake the cup and draw a card.

2) Read the equation to the table.

3) Record the equation on the recording sheet.

4) Solve the equation.

The other members of the table team are expected to monitor and assist the student in play.

As the class plays, I roam the room and assist students/tables who are struggling or I ask students to explain their thinking as they solve the problems.


5 minutes

For closure, I call the students back to the floor one table at a time. We discuss the math that we encountered during the game. We discuss the steps necessary in solving the equations.

I ask two open-ended questions that require higher level thinking:

1) What did you learn during the activity today?

2) What would you do to make this activity better?

Exit Ticket

5 minutes

I give the kids a quick-check Draw It! Solve It! (subtraction) exit ticket. It has four subtraction problems on it. I sort them as I collect them. Any red flags are pulled either into a small group or individually to get support with areas of concern or for reteaching and extended practice.