Friday, February 7, 2014

Low-Tech Math and a Collaborative Idea

One of the kids that I tutor is having difficulty with addition fluency and understanding that equations can be true or false.

This particular child has difficulty with attention, so anything that we do needs to be fun and engaging.  To keep his attention, I created an equation robot.  This robot was made out of a cardboard pasta box.  I covered the pasta box with construction paper, cut a hole in the middle, and added foam and google eyes, and silly pipe cleaner antennae!  He loved it :)
First, we worked on finding two equations that were equal.  I wrote equations on foam stickers.  He would choose a sticker and find the sum.  We are specifically working on "counting on".  A trick that we have been using is to physically "knock" on the larger number.  He finds the larger number in the equation and physically "knocks" on it, as he says the number.  He then "counts on" the amount of the other number in the equation. 
He finds the sum of the first equation and then tries other equations to find one that is true.  Once he found two pieces of robot food that were equal, he fed them to the robot.
The next activity, that we "played", was identifying whether two addition sentences were true or false/ equal or not equal.  This time the sentences were both on one sticker.  He followed the same procedure.  Counting on to discover the sum of each equation.  This is where it got really fun!  The robot would spit out any set of equations that was not equal.  There were lots of giggles! 
When we found a set of equations that was not true, he would stick the sticker on the "Not Equal" section of the paper.  The robot ate all the "Equal" equations with great gusto!  After sorting all the stickers, we emptied out the robot and put the equations that were equal on the paper.
The last activity that we worked on was decomposing 10.  We used unifix cubes and containers to create the equations.  We started out identifying that we always had 10 cubes and that he was able to put the cubes in any combination and still get the sum of 10.  The most exciting part is that, for the first time, he made the connection that you can just switch the order of the numbers.  4+6 and 6+4 both equal 10.  This totally made my week!!!  Click here to get a freebie for decomposing 10.

I am collecting teachers' ideas for hands-on ideas for math activities on FB.  If you have any great hands-on math activities that you would like to share Click Here!  This coming Monday, I will choose one awesome contributor to choose any product, $6 or less, from my store.  Eventually, I would like to get all the ideas up on my blog, so that it will be an one-stop easy resource for teachers!  Thanks so much for making this happen.  I will include your name with your ideas :)
One more thing, every Friday The Primary Gal has a weekly linky party!  You can head on over there and find tons of freebies!  This happens every Friday, so put it on your calendars :)  Click here to head over to her linky party!
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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