Teaching Addition and Subtraction With Fact Family Schoolhouses

It's A Wonderful Day In The Fact Family Neighborhood!

So what's the big deal about fact families?

Once a student knows the relationships of the fact family members, it's easy for them to see what number is missing at a quick glance.

Solving addition and subtraction problems is then much easier and starts to become automatic.

Fact family houses are a great way to teach visual learners about the relationships among the three numbers in that family.

Knowing fact families, especially those, which create number sentences that add up to 10, are a key part of math.

Making fact family houses and putting them in a neighborhood can help students learn the "tens facts" by heart. I thought it would be fun for students to create a neighborhood of schoolhouses!

Here's How: To create a neighborhood, run off the schoolhouses on 10 different colors of construction paper.  I like to teach a rainbow pattern later on in the year, so now is a great time to start with those 1st six bright colors.

Next, have students fill in the rest of the Tens Facts, one in each house, to create the entire neighborhood. Once the neighborhood is finished, children use a square of Scotch tape to hinge them together.

Run off the covers for each fact family on white copy paper.  Students cut those out, solve the problems and then glue them to the back of the first house in the fact family.

When they are completed, students will have a variety of different colored fact family house booklets that they can stand up and make into neighborhoods of schoolhouses.

Another thing you can do with this packet that will help reinforce fact families, is to show students how to write the families using a T bar.

I tell children that they are becoming T-eriffic at making fact families so they get to make T-Bars.

Students simply trace the T in red and write the missing number on the other side of the bar. This number when added to the other will make the number on top of the T bar. You can turn this sheet into a “mad-minute” and time students.

The Fact Family Spinner Game is also another way to get the facts reinforced. Children spin the spinner, whatever number they land on, they find that number tile and place it in the top attic window of their schoolhouse.

They decide what other numbers they are going to choose to make a fact family for that number and fill in the remaining tiles and then X-off that fact family on their recording sheet.

The first student, who completes all of the fact families, wins the game. Click on the link to view/download Fact Family Schoolhouse packet

Finally, the last way I review fact families with students is with mini-dry erase boards that I make out of glossy ink jet paper.

You can buy an entire box of paper at Sam’s Club, Costco or any of the office supply stores for around \$10, with anywhere from 100-200 sheets.

Cut strips the length of the paper a tad shy of 4 inches wide.  Buy a box of long colored envelopes. Seal the envelopes and snip off the ends so that they are 4 inches long.

When you write on the glossy side of the paper with a dry erase marker it easily wipes off just as if you were using a dry erase board!  I bought a pack of white washcloths and cut them into small squares.

Because these are so inexpensive to make, you could make them for your students every year, so they could keep them. Have them store them in their desk, cubby, or folder for easy access.  Use them for math, name writing, letters, shape identification etc.

If you like to have home-school connections for your students, a great way to practice their math facts is by logging them into Xtra Math.

It’s a free online program, run by a non-profit organization, that is dedicated to math achievement for all.

This is less than 10 minutes a day of math that your students can work on at home to increase their recognition of math facts. The program is free, simple and includes progress reports. I found it while surfing the net. It’s recommended by Edmodo, and worth checking out to see if it fits your needs.

I hope these ideas have added to your math bag of tricks, to help make teaching in your neighborhood, a bit more wonderful!

“Too often we give children answers to remember, rather than problems to solve.” –Roger Lewin

Snowman Math Game

Learning Math With A Snowman Friend

Sam the Solution Snowman is a fun way for your students/child to enjoy learning to count, sequence, match numbers with number words, as well as do simple addition and subtraction.

Run off the templates on construction paper.

Students cut out their snowman and hat.

Students color their snowman’s face and glue on their hat.

To expedite things, you might want to have the arm pieces pre-cut and hole-punched.

Hole punch 6 holes in the middle of the snowman and 6 holes in the bottom of the snowman.

You’ll have to fold one side to get the hole punch to the middle.

Fasten the arms to each other using brass brads and then attach them to the snowman with 2 more brads.

Position the arms so they look like they are holding a snowflake.

Cut a 1 x 12 inch strip of black and white construction paper.

Lay the white strip on top of the black strip and paperclip them together in the middle.

Pull the white strip down a bit so that you can tape the black strip to the back of the snowman’s head.

Students roll two dice; count the dots to see how many buttons they will reveal on the snowman by pulling the white strip down so that the buttons appear black.

They then find that numbered snowflake and position it in the snowman’s hands.

Students flip the red hat sash to reveal the number word that matches the number on the snowflake.

If you want to make this an addition or subtraction activity, have students roll the dice.

The largest number will reveal the top buttons; the smaller number on the dice will reveal the bottom buttons on the snowman.

In order to do addition/subtraction, you will need a black rectangle “side cover”.

You reveal the bottom buttons by this extra black side strip.

Fold it in half horizontally to reveal buttonholes 1-4.  Keep it open to reveal number > 4.

Have students write their equations on a sheet of scratch paper.

You can eliminate the number-word sash for younger children as well as the side-cover for addition/subtraction, keeping the snowman simple.

If you want to make a class set to use every year, laminate your snowman parts and then assemble them.

If you’re only doing a few for a center or making one with your child, you may want to use Velcro on the snowflakes and put the opposite Velcro piece on the snowman’s tummy.

The snowflake squares make the perfect pages for a cute Itty Bitty Booklet, so I made a cover for them. This is a great way to practice sequencing!

I've also included 6 snowflake "What Comes Next?" skill sheets with this activity and a blank one for you to fill in for numbers/letters that you want to work on, + a certificate of praise.

Your students are sure to have "snow" much fun learning with Sam the Solution Snowman.

Click on the link to view/print Sam.

Thank you for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others may find helpful.

"Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right!" -Ophra Winfrey

Domino Math With Dominic

Let's Play A Math Game!

Dominoes are an inexpensive and fun math manipulative to help your students practice simple addition and subtraction facts.  Dominic the Domino Snowman makes it even more interesting.  He needs buttons for his belly!

Here's how to help him:

• If you want all of your students to play as a whole group, run off a class set of snowmen. Have students play in groups of 2-4 so they can share dominoes.  They sell them at The Dollar Store.
•  If you don’t have dominoes, use my template and print off a class set, or some for your students so they can have a Dominic and dominoes to practice at home.
•  You can color the snowmen, or have students color them and then laminate the playing boards so you can use them every year.
•  Children will use dry erase markers to record their answers and then wipe them off with a wet wipe.
• Write the directions: Roll, Find, Place, Write, Solve on the board.
• Demonstrate how to play the game.
• Students obtain the dominoes by rolling 2 dice twice and finding the appropriate dominoes.
• i.e, If they roll a 1 and a 5, they find the domino with one dot and five dots and place that to the side.
•  The student then rolls the second time and rolls a 2 and a 3.
• They find that domino.
• Since the first domino has larger numbers, they put that domino on top so that they can subtract. They put the smaller numbered domino on the bottom.
• Students add the “buttons” of the domino to get the first number to add and and then later subtract and then add the “buttons” of the second domino to get the second number to add and later subtract.
•  Students write these equations vertically on their snowman and solve the problem.
• On a sheet of  paper, students write the equations horizontally and solve the problem.
• Set a timer to ring after about 10 minutes.
• The student with the most correct answers wins the game.

Do you have a math game that you play with your students? I'd enjoy hearing from you! diane@teachwithme.com and if you use one of my freebies I'd really enjoy a comment.  Thanks in advance.

Be sure and pop back tomorrow for more creative teaching tips.

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