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Friday, January 3, 2014

Addition and Subtraction Work Mats

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the new year, and that you are getting back into the swing of things. The break is always very much needed and well appreciated, but it can be tricky making up for any holiday regression!

The Common Core places a lot of emphasis on using models in mathematics. In fact, it is listed as one of the mathematical practice standards for all grade levels. 

Some of the mathematical models I am focusing on with my second graders are the number line, ten frames, and the hundreds chart. Many of my students are still struggling with their addition and subtraction facts. The models provide them with the extra support they need.

When introducing the mats, I have my students solve a variety of different addition and subtraction problems using all of the model types. As time goes on, I allow my students to use the model that best meets their particular needs. Different models appeal to different students. I believe that it is my job to expose students to all of the types of models and make sure they understand how to use each model. Once students are familiar with each model, they are able to choose whichever one appeals to them. They need to be able to make choices and take ownership. Also, different types of addition and subtraction problems will work well with different models. Students need to be able to recognize this on their own in time.

For the mats, I printed a copy for each student and laminated the copy. Students then write on the mats with dry erase markers. There is something about dry erase markers that students love. The same activity with paper and pencil just wouldn't be the same. 

If you would like a copy of the work mat, click here, or on the image above.

How do you teach your students to use models in mathematics?
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. Those are great mats- clean lines! I started the year with a hundreds to 120 chart stapled in each notebook, and we've mostly been using those. I have a vertical number line in my room that they reference occasionally, but all I need to say is "get your numbers" and they know to get out their charts to count on.

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  2. I just started introducing number lines to my first and second graders in a new way and it is going so well! They finally seem to have the understanding of relational placement that I have always felt was lacking. I will be posting pictures and commentary soon!

    The Math Maniac


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