Sunday, April 22, 2012



Subtraction is so much fun to teach.....hahahahahaha! 
Ok, sorry, had to get that out of my system.

My kids love "When You Subtract With a Pirate" video and for a few of my late bloomers it helped them come to their "ah-ha" moment.

I think next year I need to start practicing counting backwards sooner.  My kinders ROCK at counting up which I give 99.9% credit to the fact that we count up all year long!

I use domino cards with my kids starting almost the 1st month of school.  I hold a few of them up and the kids shout "dominoes" and then we run through a few cards.

We start simple with ones that look like this and start by counting all the dots:

Then we add harder ones like this:

Then we stop counting all the dots because some genius child figures out we don't need to count every dot sometimes our brain knows how many dots are in a cluster (Ok, I usually point that out to them but one day there will be a genius child who does it first!)

Once the big "ah-ha" moment arrives we start saying the "big" number and counting up!
We make a big deal out of NOT counting every dot.  Using the card above as an example the conversation would go something like this:

Me:  "Oh my goodness kindergarten, do we really need to count every dot?"

Kinders:  NO!

Me:  That's right!  Don't waste your time counting dots when your brain already knows how many are in the cluster!  How many are in our big cluster?

Kinders:  4

Me:  Woohoo!  Someone turned their math brain on HIGH!  That's right, there are 4 dots in the big cluster.  Let's count up!
Ready. . .  4, 5, 6!
(While they are counting I'll circle the "4" cluster with my finger and then touch the 2 other dots while we count.)

Usually we are doing this while waiting for a few straggling kinders to make it to the floor for story time or the line so we can leave the room.  Quick time filler and voila. . . counting up skill. . .done!

BUUUUUT. . . . .every year about this time I realize (oops) forgot to practice counting down.

Next year I'll remember.


  1. I'm so happy I found your blog! I am your newest follower:) Stop by and visit me...

  2. It is a great reminder that we should probably be doing both right from the start! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I needed this reminder as I am planning for next year.
    -Leslie @KindergartenWorks