During Math we have been working very hard at solving subtraction equations. As most kindergarten students do, mine love anything that involves play dough, acting, or songs. Luckily, I had a few subtraction lessons up my sleeve that involved all of these things!
To introduce subtraction, I used a song by Ron Brown (Intelli Tunes) called “Five Fish.” It is ADORABLE and my students LOVED it. Before I introduced the song, I taught a (very brief) mini-lesson explaining what subtraction was. I told a story about a cookie jar that had 10 cookies in it. I went on telling my students that for snack that day, I ate two cookies. I asked them if I had more or less cookies. (They all knew the answer to that question!) I explained that when we subtract, the answer gets smaller. We went through a few story problems and used our fingers to solve the equations. I then played the song “Five Fish” to my students.
They be-bopped at their carpet spots, immediately in love with it.
I played the song a second time, this time stopping with each refrain to figure out how many fish were left. The third time I played the song, I asked for volunteers to come up and to pretend they were the fisherman or the fish. (I had MANY friends who wanted to participate.)
I chose one fisherman and gave him his character card and 5 friends to be my fish. I then turned the song back on. My students who were sitting happily sang along as my actors acted out what was going on.
After each fish was caught, they came back to the carpet and those not acting wrote down the equation.
(A fish who was “caught”!)
The next day, we practiced subtraction during our morning meeting with a quick game of “quiz, quiz, trade.”
We also used the same song by Ron Brown during our guided math groups. I gave each student a subtraction work mat (which you can get for FREE here) with a fisherman on it along with 5 plastic fish.
I got the fish from Amazon here.
I played the song for my students and they “acted out” the song using their fish. They also recorded the equations on their recording sheets. (free)
Here’s a glimpse into one of our groups. (As you can tell, my students LOVED these lessons!)
After this quick activity (we used this as our warm up), we practiced what I call “Smash Math.” For this game, we used our cards that had subtraction equations on them. We practiced reading the equations and then worked them out using play dough.
The first thing we did was determine how many play dough balls we needed to roll out. My students quickly learned that we had to roll the larger number of balls. Then, they placed them in a straight line.
We talked about how many were being taken away and SMASHED that many balls to determine the difference.
As you can imagine, they loved this!
The final activity that we did last week (to work on subtraction) was acting out another poem. For this one, I took out a chart I had made a few years ago for, “Five Green Speckled Frogs.”
We made a “log” out of chairs, and created a “pool” to dive into. (An open space on our carpet.) As the class sang the song, my frogs happily jumped off the log into the pool!
I hope that you will try some of these lessons and download the subtraction freebie!! It has lots of goodies in it. (It includes recording pages, story problems that you can project using your classroom technology, and more! My students are loving them!)
I hope you have a great week! Come back soon because I am partnering up with an awesome Etsy seller to give away something you don’t want to miss!!!!