Math is one of my absolute FAVORITE subjects to teach! I think my favorite thing about math is that it is so universal and that there are so many ways to solve one problem.
In Kindergarten, we expose students to multiple ways to solve both addition and subtraction problems. We use counters, fingers, pictures, number lines, and counting on/back!
To help visualize our strategies, we made this anchor chart. It’s such a simple visual for students, and they absolutely love it!
As the year goes on, we explicitly practice each of these strategies, but we also encourage students to find the one that works best for them. And that might change throughout the year! I find that students start working with pictures or fingers, but then gradually move to counting on (or even just solving in their head when they are ready!).
We did this math activity as a refresher of a few frequently used strategies.
Students solved one addition and one subtraction problem using this worksheet. To make sure they were solving one that was “just right” for them, even within a whole class lesson, problem cards were differentiated by color. As students came to pick a card, I simply asked them to pick either green, blue, or pink. Then, they were given materials at their tables to solve the problem using counters, a picture, and a number line.
It was a great way to see who gravitates toward which strategy and which ones we could practice a little more!
You can grab the math activity here! It also includes word problem options and is editable!
What are your favorite ways to practice math strategies? Let me know! We are always looking for fun and exciting ways to problem solve!