I just wanted to share a quick blog post with you about a Superhero themed math activity I am planning to use with my students tomorrow for National Superhero Day!!  We will be wearing our Superhero shirts tomorrow!  My kids were so excited and telling me all about the shirts they would be wearing!
We have been working a lot with subtraction so I am going to teach my students this fun math activity.  They love spinner games so I thought this would be perfect for them.  For this activity, students will need the "Superhero Subtraction" mat, cubes/counters/chips/etc, and a paper clip and pencil to spin the spinner.  Here are the directions:
To grab this SUPER activity to use with your students, just click the image below to grab your FREE download!  Happy Superhero Day!
**I wanted to come back and post some pictures of my students doing this activity.  They LOVED it!
I have an interactive whiteboard with a projector - I LOVE it!!  I introduced this with my students by projecting it up on the screen.  I just thought this was the cutest when one of my students had their Superman cape on doing the Superhero Subtraction activity!

 First they spin the 6-10 spinner.

Then they count out that many cubes on the ten frame.

Spin the 1-5 spinner and subtract that many away from the ten frame.
We have already added this to one of our math stations!
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Many states have already had or are soon holding their primary elections.  I wanted to create a fun lesson for my students that went along with the election and voting.  I think it is important to connect real world events to my classroom whenever possible.  Voting also goes along perfectly with math concepts.  A lot of great math discussion stems from a class vote.  We had so much fun with our "Election Day" voting fun in kindergarten!
 The first thing I did was make a "Ballot Box."  This is actually a Pop-Tart box, but Kleenex boxes would work great as well!  I covered it in blue construction paper and glued the label on it.  I also cut out the ballot cards for my students.  

 I explained to my students that they would be voting for their favorite animal on their ballot: cat, dog, monkey, or rabbit.  I told them they can only mark one choice.  I also told them they didn't even have to write their name on it because it's a private vote!

 They folded their ballot and dropped it in the box!

 I had a student helper who pulled the ballots out of the box and read the votes for the class.

 As the student helper pulled the ballots out of the box, I tallied the votes on our chart.  We then discussed the data as a class.  
**My kids were extremely excited to see that the word VOTE has a silent e!!!

 Then I had my students do some writing about our class data.  I try to connect writing across all subjects whenever possible.  Writing is really something that shows if they are taking the skills learned in reading and applying them.  

 Seriously, how AMAZING are they at writing?!?!?!  

I love giving my students the chance to write because they all come up with different ways to share the information.  

We shared our writing after everyone finished.  They are always so excited to share and it is a great time for students to practice their speaking and listening skills.  We talk about using a strong speaking voice and not holding our paper in front of our face when we share.

 And everyone got an "I Voted" card since they participated in our class vote!
This activity was so fun and extremely engaging for my students.  They loved it and did an awesome job!  
If you want to grab this activity to use with your students, I have made a FREE download that includes the animal ballots, the animal labels to make a voting chart, and the writing paper for students to write about the class data.  Just click the image to grab your FREE download!
If you love this free download, check out the full Election Day Voting Activities resource in my Teachers Pay Teacher Store.  This resource includes 5 voting ballots, voting chart labels, writing pages, "I Voted" cards, and the labels for a ballot box.  You can check it out by clicking the image below.
Happy Voting!
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Subtraction in kindergarten can definitely be a tricky concept to learn.  I came up with a pretzel subtraction problem solving activity for my kindergarten students to do.  I thought this would be a fun and engaging subtraction activity for them and plus pretzels make a yummy snack!!

*I did this lesson over two days.  The first day was a "Notice and Wonder" and the students actually solving the problem.  The second day was having my students write about their math.

The way that I started this subtraction problem solving was with a "Notice and Wonder."  If you haven't heard of this strategy, you present the problem to your students and then, using a t-chart, have them share what they notice about the problem and what they wonder about the problem.  The "Notice and Wonder" strategy is a great way to get your students to tell the information they notice directly from the problem and then get them to wonder about the problem by asking questions.  You can also use this strategy for different subject areas.

 After we completed the "Notice and Wonder," I gave my students a pretzel ten frame.  The ten frame has ten clipart pretzels on it. 
Then, I gave my students ten pretzels and had them cover up each pretzel picture with a real pretzel.
I read the problem again to my students - "You have 10 pretzels.  You eat some of the pretzels.  How many pretzels do you have left?"  I told my students to eat some of their pretzels from the ten frame.  This might have been their favorite part!  After they ate their pretzels I had my students use a black crayon to mark an "X" over the pretzels they ate so they could see the ones they took away.  (I did let them eat the other pretzels too!)

Next, my students cut out the pretzels from the ten frame and glued them on the problem recording sheet.  I think it really helped for my students to "X" off the pretzels on the ten frame before cutting out the pretzels.

The next day I had my students write about the problem and what happened with their pretzels.  I like to have my students write about their math whenever possible because it really helps to get their ideas down and communicate what happened.  A lot of the time I find that they are able to verbally tell me what happened, but writing it down can be a little more challenging.  This is why I like to give them practice writing their ideas whenever possible.  The did an awesome job with this and I love when my students see that there are many ways to solve one problem!

If this is something you can use with your students, just click the image below to get your FREE download!
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Subtraction can always be a little tricky for young learners.  I think the concept of taking things away is hard, because what young child wants things taken away!  I have seen different teachers share about using Play-Doh to roll out balls and smash the ones that are being taken away - GENIUS!  Play-Doh is pretty much always a good idea with young kids!  
I took the Play-doh smashing idea and created a "Subtraction Smash" mat with six boxes.  For this activity I had my students roll a dot cube.  This told them how many Play-Doh balls to roll out on the mat.  I had my students smash one each time.  They had to tell their partner how many Play-Doh balls they had left after smashing one.  This was just our introduction to subtraction so I wanted to start with taking away one.  This was a HIT (or should I say SMASH!) with my students! 
My kids love working around the room in their scoop rocker chairs to do math activities!  
Smashing Play-Doh balls in action!
I also had my students do another version of Subtraction Smash.  For this version they spun the first spinner (3,4,5 spinner) and rolled out that many Play-Doh balls.  Then they spun the second spinner (0,1,2 spinner) and smashed that many Play-Doh balls.  They counted how many Play-Doh balls were left.  I had my students say the math talk, "___ minus ___ equals ___."
I had my students use a pencil and a paper clip to spin the spinners.  
If you want to try this with your students, grab your FREE "Subtraction Smash" mats by clicking the image below!  Also included in the download is a "Subtraction Smash" mat where students can record the equation.  Directions for using the mats are included as well.  You could easily differentiate for your students by having them use different mats that best meet their needs.  Enjoy and have FUN with math!
***UPDATE - Included in the download are also mats with spinners that go up to 10!!  Great option for differentiation!!

If you like this Subtraction Smash activity, be sure to stop by my Teachers Pay Teachers Store to grab my FREE Counting with Dough activity!  Click the image to head there!

Be sure to stop by Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten to check out more FUN math ideas!
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Earth Day is coming up this month!  I decided to make some Earth Day themed math games that also had a subtraction focus.  We are getting ready to start subtraction and math games are a great way to help your students with their subtraction skills.  
One game is "Minus One Coverall."  My students love coverall games.  They are great for students to play with a partner and they make fun math station games.  
For this game students would need the "Minus One Coverall" game board, a dot cube, counters to cover the number, and the Earth Day ten frame (optional).
Students take turns rolling the dot cube, subtracting one, and covering that number until all numbers on the board are covered.  
 *Differentiation option: Students can use the ten frame to lay out the number of cubes (or other manipulative) for the number they roll and then take away one OR students who are more fluent with subtract could subtract one without the use of a ten frame.
I always like to hold my students accountable for their math work by saying the "Math Talk."  For this game they could say, "I rolled a 4 and took away 1.  Now I have 3."  They could also say, "4 minus 1 is 3."  
The other game is a "Race to the Recycling Bin" game.  This game can be played a few different ways, but I am going to use it for subtracting one like the "Minus One Coverall" game.
For this game students would need the "Race to the Recycling" game board, a dot cube, playing pieces for the game board, and the Earth Day ten frame (optional).
Students take turns rolling the dot cube, subtracting one, and moving that many spaces on the game board.  The first one to the recycling bin is the winner.
 *Differentiation option: Students can use the ten frame to lay out the number of cubes (or other manipulative) for the number they roll and then take away one OR students who are more fluent with subtract could subtract one without the use of a ten frame.
Again, I would hold my students accountable for their math work by saying the "Math Talk."  For this game they could say, "I rolled a 6 and took away 1.  Now I have 5."  They could also say, "6 minus 1 is 5."

See the image below for other ways to play, "Race to the Recycling Bin." 

If you want to try these Earth Day themed math games with your students, just click the image below to grab your free download!  
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