Joining and Separating
n the simplest sense,addition means
and subtraction means
.In this section,the initial explorations with single blocks exposechildren to these two actions and the relationship between them.Childrenthen broaden their understanding of these operations by modeling a varietyof story problems.
Exploring Joining and Separating
Have children sit in pairs with a work mat between them. Have one child put5 blocks on his or her side of the mat and the other child place 8 blocks onthe other side. Ask,
If you put these blocks together, how many will there be?
Most children will put the blocks together and count to find the number inall. Some children may count on from their own group of blocks. Encouragechildren to demonstrate their strategies. Through such demonstrations, childrenare exposed to other counting techniques and may choose to adopt those thatare more efficient.Have children represent what they did with the blocks. They may use drawings,stamps, numbers, or words. Children already familiar with addition and equalssigns may include them in their representations. Have children share andexplain their recordings. Eventually, all children should connect number sentences to actions with the blocks.Next have each pair place 12 blocks on the mat. Ask one child to remove 7 of them. Ask,
How many blocks are left?
When children find the answer, have them record what they did with theblocks, using drawings, stamps, numbers, number sentences, or words.
Have the children place 4 blocks on one side of the mat and 5 blocks on theother side. Once the children have combined the blocks and found the total ask,
If you took the 4 blocks away again, how many blocks would be left?
Joining and separating groups and recognizingthe connection between these two actions