Things in my first grade math group were moving along just fine (or so I thought.) We completed our addition and subtraction units in our math curriculum. The students in my small group of learning and cognitively disabled students passed both unit tests and could add, subtract, and solve simple word problems utilizing Touchpoints. We were not at mastery, but we were making getting there. We were ready to move into related facts and fact families, and THAT'S when everything fell apart.
While working with my students last week I asked them, "What does it mean to add?". "Minus," one girl shouted. "Equals," another boy proudly stated. The third little girl stared blankly at me and offered no reply. Houston, we have a problem.
What I was doing clearly was not working. The textbook curriculum had failed them. I knew that I was going to have to rogue on this one. So I dedicated the next three weeks of math instruction to remedy their confusion.
Last Friday I made addition and subtraction anchor charts with them. I may take pictures and upload them next week for you guys if time allows. Tomorrow we start part-part-whole instruction. I made up an addition song up to help support their learning.
(to the tune of When We All Get Together)
When you add
put groups together, together, together
when you add put groups together
This is how you add
I also have one for subtraction that I made up last year.
(to the tune of the Muffin Man)
When I see the minus sign
the minus sign, the minus sign,
When I see the minus sign,
I know I take away
I spent a good part of yesterday gathering resources to support this, but I wanted a few more activities. This morning I made a gingerbread domino par- part-whole activity. (This upcoming week is also gingerbread week in my room.) I have uploaded it to Google docs. Just click on the image below to grab your copy.