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Do I Add or Subtract?

Brain research suggests adding movement with words in order to help the memory.

Do I Add or Subtract? This post includes some brain based ideas for adding movement and gestures to help children figure out whether to add and subtract when solving math story problems.
 
Many children struggle to remember when to add or subtract when they read math story problems. I decided to add some movement to help the kids remember when to add or subtract.

When we talk about an addition story, I have the children gesture one arm out and reference the first set. Then they gesture the second arm out and reference the second set. Then while we ask the question, we swoop our arms together into a plus sign, and say "How many all together?" or "How many in all?" The motion of bringing both arms together into a plus sign while saying the words really helps!

Do I Add or Subtract? This post includes some brain based ideas for adding movement and gestures to help children figure out whether to add and subtract when solving math story problems.
  For subtraction, we start by gesturing a set in one arm. Then the second arm swoops away part of that set, making a minus sign with the arms.

Do I Add or Subtract? This post includes some brain based ideas for adding movement and gestures to help children figure out whether to add and subtract when solving math story problems.

Finally, for a subtraction comparison story, we gesture being a scale, balancing a set on each hand while saying, "How many more?" or "How many less?"

Do I Add or Subtract? This post includes some brain based ideas for adding movement and gestures to help children figure out whether to add and subtract when solving math story problems.

These gestures seem rather simple, yet with a few repetitions, the children remember them when they are doing word problems. In fact, I've had children come back to me long after they left my class and tell me how glad they are I taught them these gestures!

 It helps if you have fun math stories for the children to practice with. Here are a few themed math story problems to make the practice a little more fun!

 
Do I Add or Subtract? This post includes some brain based ideas for adding movement and gestures to help children figure out whether to add and subtract when solving math story problems.




Learning About New Hampshire!


What better way to learn about your home state (and the nearby states) than reading in a fun book?

I've joined up with a group of bloggers for Booking Across the USA!
I was lucky enough to be involved in this project last year (See THIS blog post) and I couldn't wait to do it again!

For more about the Booking Across the USA Project, click the image below or click HERE:


This year is particularly cool, since we got to use these books, thanks to Blue Apple Books!
I shared Travelin' the Northeast with my class, and it's adorable! Each book represents a section of the United States, and has a page about each state, along with facts about that state. The best part? There's this cute little dog named Charlie that's on every page, and they absolutely LOVE searching through each state for Charlie!

Here are some of the facts we learned about New Hampshire from this book:

  • The first free public library was established in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
  • Tupperware was invented in New Hampshire.
  • The alarm clock was invented by Levi Hutchins in Concord, New Hampshire in 1787.
  • Alan Shepard, the first US Astronaut in space, was born in Derry, New Hampshire November 23, 1923.
  • Plus, there are some cool pictures on the map page of New Hampshire that give us more information about the state!
  • Brain research tells us making connections to the arts help children remember.
  • Most teachers have these around their classrooms:

If not, they're easy to find!
How about these?
Pipe cleaners are easy to find! If you put these two
materials together, you can make something like this:

Here's how it works:  Each time a child can share a fact about one of the states they've learned, they get a new bead for their bracelet. As they build up beads, they can go through the beads, remembering each of the facts they have learned. The beads are helping the memory!

Another way to use the beads: Attach another bead to the bracelet for each state the children can find on the map!


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