After many years of not formally introducing the concept of addition and subtraction till Spring and realizing the complexity of actually understanding it, I now start introducing this skill earlier. I have noticed a significant difference in the student's ability in understanding the meaning of putting together and taking apart. I use many hands-on activities, especially involving food. Who wouldn't like eating the manipulatives?!
Here's a game, SPIDER LEGS, using pretzel sticks for legs. There are different versions depending on your students' abilities. If there is a food allergy concern, you could use pipe cleaners for legs.
Fran from Kindergarten Crayons suggested using those animal paper plates for adding and subtracting. What a wonderful idea! Below is a Mouse Mat with recording sheet that is similar to the plate concept. This is a great visual for joining and decomposing numbers. It's in black and white. I thought it would look great copied on bright colored paper. Enjoy!
Don't forget to hop on over and visit Mrs. Saoud who's hosting Math Work Stations Chapter 5. She has posted a lot of good information and freebies.