## Apple Math Mats

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1-2-3 Come Play Some Math Games With Me

Just when I think I'm ready to move on to another theme, my brain shifts into overdrive and I come up with yet another apple idea that I just have to putz with.  Thus the apple math mats came about.

Who'd have thought they'd take 2 days to complete.  My husband always tells me that I have no concept of how much time will be involved when it comes to one of my projects.  I think it's the driven perfectionist in me that always has to have things "just so".

Any hoo, I hope you and your kiddos enjoy this apple math game as much as I did making it.  You can make a class set of apple math mats to use each year, or have your students make their own.

This apple "craftivity" is a super-fun way to reinforce addition and/or subtraction, and if you teach older students, I've also included a template to make a multiplication apple game.

To play, students roll a dice to see if they will work on their addition or subtraction skills.  If they roll an even number they will add and use that side of the apple mat.  (I made this side red.)

If they roll an odd number, they'll flip the mat over and use the subtraction side, which is yellow. (Note how the leaves and center ovals have to do with addition or subtraction.)

For their 2nd roll, they toss two dice to determine their equation, which they jot down on their recording sheet.

Students can either use the paper seed tiles, some sunflower seeds, or pom poms as manipulatives to show "how many" on their mat.

If students are making their own apple mats, I'd suggest having them color and cut out the seed tiles. This way they can continue to reinforce lessons by playing at home.  The paper "seeds" are pictured in the photographs.

If you want to have students do this activity as a whole-group and use your laminated mats, I'd use sunflower birdseed.  (As you can see by the picture, the sunflower seeds are just the right size!)

Make sure you explain to your kiddos that these are sunflower seeds and not apple seeds, as sunflower seeds are sold by the bag. Give each child their own Dixie cup full, or sprinkle them on a paper plate in the center of their table.

For more practice, make an extra set of apples and put the game in your independent math center, along with 14 black or brown pom poms in a Ziplock Baggie.  (I always add 2 extra pieces to my games incase a few get lost.  Saves a ton of time searching for materials to make more.)

Students place the correct amount of seeds on their mat according to the numbers that they roll with the dice. (See photographs.)

After they have written the equation down on their recording sheet, they count up the total number of seeds to solve the addition problem, and take away the appropriate amount, to solve the subtraction one.

Once they have jotted down their answer, they clear off their mat, and begin the game again by rolling one dice.

To help reinforce greater and less than, have students use the math symbol ovals, and place the < or > oval in the middle of their apple mat, which will now cover the plus or minus oval.

Have students write these equations down on their recording sheet as well.  Click on the link to view/download the Apple Math Mats packet.

Thanks for visiting today.  My grandson's up from his nap and it's time for a snack and stroller ride.  Have a blessed day!

"Learn as much as you can while you're young, since life becomes too busy later." -Dana Stewart Scott