I recently shared this video of my two-year old son doing a basic addition problem.
A good friend asked if he really knew what he was doing or if he was repeating what I said. I argued that he absolutely knows the concept behind adding because we have modeled it many times. He doesn’t necessarily know what the word “plus” means yet but he understands the idea of putting more together. His understanding of “more” will help with addition problem-solving in the future.
We moved on to modeling two fingers and adding thee more. I ask my son how many we have altogether. He counts and says, “five”.
“More” and “altogether” will later translate to “add” and “equals”.
Can your grade school student read an analog clock? I have middle school students who have strong “clock skills” and use them in other situations for problem solving.
Students who know how to read a clock can do the following skills in their head when solving fraction, multiplication, ratio, and proportion problems.
Using a clock to solve multiples of 5:
Understanding fourths on a clock:
Understanding thirds on a clock:
Take the TIME to teach your kids how to read a clock!
Subtraction is repeatedly taking some away. Subtraction leads to division, which is repeatedly subtracting the same number. Therefore! Start teaching your toddler the idea of taking something away. Food and treats work great!
Here my son is about to eat his treats. First we count how many he has: 12 gummies. Then I let him eat 2 gummies. We talk about how they are gone and they aren’t coming back! We count the gummies again. I have him eat two more, count what’s left, and repeat until he has eaten all of them.
Use these vocabulary words and phrases to describe subtracting:
- Take away
For older children, ask them the following questions:
- What did we take away or eat over and over? (2 gummies)
- How many did we start with? (12 gummies)
- How many times did you eat 2 gummies? (6 times)
Get creative and use fruit, candy, cereal, marshmallows, cookies, and more!