Calendar and counting practice motivate kinders to learn!
It's natural to want to have fun while learning. Calendar time, if used correctly, can be the most beneficial time of the day!
Math and social studies standards get to overlap and encourage learning. The kids learn patterns in days of the week and months of the year. The begin to learn concepts of time such as today, tomorrow and yesterday. They reinforce counting skills and ordinal counting skills, and they learn the difference!
Daily counting is done for counting to 20 forward and back, counting by 10's to 100 and counting by 1's to 100. Toward the end of the year, we add counting by 5's to 100 to prepare for first grade. We sing and we dance. We exercise to get to 100.
We use videos on the ActivBoard, but it can be just as beneficial to use a standard classroom wall calendar and posters.
Here are the videos we use:
Count to 20:
Countdown from 20:
Count by 10's:
Count by 1's:
Counting by 5's:
As with all of the subtraction lessons, we start with one of our favorites sing alongs, When You Subtract with a Pirate:
There are two versions of that song. Here are both of them:
The song is the same in both video, the animation is a bit different. My kids go wild for this song and every time we bring up subtraction, they just have to sing it. They've been known to sing it at their tables without the video!
After we sing, I do a quick review of what subtraction looks like and demonstrate solving a few problems. I use the same set of problems that they will be using for the independent portion of the lesson.
I guide them in a quick discussion about the relationship between addition and subtraction. This is a perfect lesson to introduce the idea because the quantities are small enough for their young minds to manage with ease. I have them show me one plus one using their fingers and they all yell out "two" and then I have them show me two minus (or subtract) one and they all yell out, "one." We do this several times. I then ask the kids what we are doing. Through a short discussion the kids arrive at the idea that they are using the same amounts to "lose some" and to "get some." I do a really quick demonstration on a number line of adding one and subtracting one. Their response was one that made me think they had just seen a magic trick!
I turn the attention and demonstration back to the activity for the day and have them tell me how to do it so I know they are ready to get to work.
Tip: Cut out the number sentences you will be using with this activity before copying.
This lesson has a very short guided instruction. Since the kids are familiar with it from Sum Sorting to 10 , a previous lesson, then it takes no time at all to explain to the kids what they need to do. The only difference is that this lesson is subtraction.
For this lesson and the next three lessons, we are focusing on skill practice, not attain new knowledge.
The guided practice for this lesson takes place at their tables where I have the kids solve the first problem, cut it out and paste it into the correct column. I roam the room to make sure they are doing the job correctly. I assist any kids who are struggling with the concept of subtraction.
For one student who is new to our class, I assign a rally coach who sits next to her and oversees he work. If the rally coach sees her do something incorrectly, she catches it before she glues it down and has her recalculate before she glues it down.The rally coach is the "natural teacher" type of kid who enjoys helping others.
The majority of the lesson is spent here on the independent practice section where they get to practice their subtraction skill.**
Most of the kids do well with this simple level of subtraction, even my low-achieving kids. I set them to work on their own and I call a small group to my table to work in a small group so I can support them in the concept of subtraction as it does not come as naturally to the young mind as addition does.
In the small group, in this case three kids, I walk them through each problem using blocks. The kids at the table have the option of using counting blocks or their fingers. Some just know the answers because they begun to subitize, which is a celebration because that is a year long fluency goal.
The small group works at the table with me and I provide any necessary support that they may need such as walking them through each problem step by step until they remember how to subtract on their own. Training the young brain to take away after it has learned to add two groups can be challenging for some.
**All of the number sentences for subtraction 0-12 are provided in the resource section. Cut out the number sentences you want your students to use before copying.
Once the kids have finished their sorting and gluing, we meet on the floor to talk about what subtraction is and how it is different from addition. We create a flow map showing the steps necessary in solving a subtraction problem. This helps the young mind organize the information it has gained and the chart remains up in the room for reference. They will need to refer to it as the problems get more difficult. The next lesson is exactly like this one, but it is for differences that total 3, 4, and 5.
The exit ticket for this lesson is their completed sorting sheets. I collect them after the glue dries and I look over them for any students that may be struggling who I didn't catch in my initial small group (I have only 3 or 4 in those support groups).
When I discover a student who needs extra support that I did not detect before, I pull them back to the small group table one on one for the next lesson and provide a rally coach for those who were in the small group for this lesson.