Two of the most important foundational math skills are being able to add and subtract quickly. Three of the skills parents and teachers of young students may choose to focus on are:
- Being able to add and subtract within 5 fluently
- Knowing all the fact families that equal 10
- Adding and subtracting with objects
These festive patriotic adding and subtracting mats will help your young child practice those skills.
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Patriotic Adding and Subtracting Mats Prep Work
I love activities that require minimal prep work, and the Patriotic Adding and Subtracting Mats are such an activity! All you have to do is:
- Print out this set on cardstock paper
- Cut out numerical expressions and patriotic pictures
- (Optional) laminate for increased durability
- (Optional) Add velcro dots to the mats to keep the cards in place
How to Use Patriotic Adding and Subtracting Mats
To begin, place the mat on the table in front of your student. You’ll use the mat for both the subtraction and addition activities. Next, give your child all of the addition picture cards, and have him count the objects.
The child will place the card on the number that picture represents.
After placing all the picture cards on, it is time to move onto numerical expressions. Have your little one find the expressions that match the pictures. For example, the expression 5 + 4 would need a picture that has five of one object (watermelons) and four of another (corn).
Afterward, you can go back through each square and see if they can remember what each expression equals. You might say, “Do you remember what 5 + 4 equals?”
Once your child answers, lift off the equation and have them count the pictures so they can see if they are correct. Then lift all the pictures and say, “Yes, 5 + 4 equals 9.”
Once your child can quickly assemble the addition mats, it is time to move on to subtraction. This math requires the same steps as the addition mats, but once children are successfully able to add the pictures first, you can switch things around a bit.
Instead of adding the pictures first, see if your child can put the expressions on first, and then the pictures that match. This begins moving them from just counting to figure out an expression to working from memory.
And being able to add and subtract fluently is a goal worth pursuing!
Have older students? Try out these Patriotic Math Word Problems.
Rachel is a homeschool mom to four little ones, ages 2 to 6. She is a former public school elementary teacher, and has recently begun blogging at You’ve Got This. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.