A few weeks ago, I was asked to help my first grade ESL student with addition and subtraction. “Definitely — I like math!” I said. But when we sat down with his work, it hit me: I really don’t know how to teach this child how to add and subtract, which was followed by I’m great at adding and subtracting. How could I not know how to teach a 6-year-old to add and subtract? I’m guessing this is because I learned these skills a long, long time ago and don’t remember how I learned them, and yes, because I’m an English teacher and not a math teacher.

Miss Kindergarten

Miss Kindergarten is (was?) a kindergarten teacher in Southern California.

Math Flowers: FREE

How cute are these flowers! I love that they show kids different ways numbers — which are actually abstract concepts — can be represented. I would print these on white paper so the kids could color them. I also like that this activity requires cutting. Place value, addition sentences and subtraction sentences might be difficult for kindergartners, so I’m thinking this activity might be better suited to first grade.

Addition Task Cards: $5

This product taught me how to teach addition, just like I learned spelling strategies from a first grade writing curriculum. This product includes task cards for these strategies: cubes, ten frames, fingers, count on, bears, draw pictures, number line, draw dots, counters and tally marks. Whether you’re teaching math or literacy, hands-on activities ALWAYS beat worksheets and I think this product is perfect for teaching addition. The only thing I don’t like about this product is that it requires manipulatives, but I guess I should blame math for that and not this product. Miss Kindergarten also has subtraction task cards.

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