During the month of February, our pre-k 4 students have been learning addition! This is always fun for them and they love to work on equations. Many students are on simple equations such as 2+2=4 and 3+4=7. My more advance students are doing 9+8=17 and 5+3+6=14.
So how do we make it fun? With fun stories (verbal word problems) and lots of manipulatives (cotton balls, beans, animal counters, etc.) The kids love to be part of the stories; it helps them relate to the problem. We'll say, "Jason had 2 toy cars that he loved playing with every single day. Then, for his birthday, Daniela gave him 3 more toy cars! Wow! So how many toy cars does Jason have now?" From here, the students can use one of the several strategies they've learned to find the solution.
These strategies are:
-use their fingers
-use a number line
-use a ten frame
-counting in their head
Next, we will be moving on to subtraction and focusing on taking away. An example of a subtraction story would be, "Benjamin had 5 butterflies. These butterflies were beautiful and always stayed in the garden. Until one day, 2 butterflies suddenly flew away! How many butterflies does Benjamin have now?" Students will use similar strategies to those of addition, but of course changed to take away.
I'd like to point out that math isn't the only skill being taught here. There is also literacy attached to this! We've got vocabulary, comprehension, and sequence just to name a few. How awesome is that??
Pre-k 4 is simply full of exploration and learning and we are ready to pack in as much as we can before the school year is over. Be ready for them, kindergarten!
Ms. G Hernandez
Pre-k 4 Teacher