We may be working on addition and subtraction more formally, but that doesn't mean we abandon our philosophy of child-led learning through play. I created these math mats to provide the children with opportunities to manipulate this learning concept with a hands-on learning activity.
The children will either work on a given fact family, which we display on our bulletin board with our Fact Family of the Day poster, or use a domino, dice, or some other method for creating a fact family to work upon. Once laminated, the mats can be used with dry erase markers, dry erase crayons, play dough, etc.
|Fact Family Poster and 7 Math Mats $2.00 at TPT|
For each mat, the child adds something different to create an artistic, manipulative, representation of the quantity. This can be done with the dry erase markers or crayons, play dough, pom poms, string, yarn, or other manipulatives. Below you see that we used birthday candles on the Happy Birthday cupcake mat, and plastic food from the dramatic play area for the Garden mat.
Each mat is different, appealing to different interests, so that the children can choose the one that appeals to them the most. This is a free choice activity once the initial introduction has been made.
For children whose writing skills are just emerging, number cubes can be provided for them to use, or they have the option of using string, play dough, tally marks or dots to show the quantities that go in each square. You can also create number cards sized to fit.
The goal is to get them thinking about manipulation of quantities, not just learning facts. Although we are formally working on addition and subtraction, we are also still working on grouping and beginning concepts of multiplication and division through play.
Tags: addition, subtraction, fact, facts, fact families, manipulatives, math center, math, mathematics, early, beginning, hands-on, learning, play, playdoh, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first, second, 1st, grade, number, numbers,