Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Decomposing Numbers & a new activity pack!

I don't know about y'all, but decomposing numbers has been a difficult concept for my students to grasp this year! They had been doing well with addition concepts, but when it came down for them to break down the numbers and tell me how many ways they could build it, they kept getting stuck. In hopes of helping my students master the concept, I created activity sheets called "How Many Ways?" for numbers under 10 to help them have both a visual, hands-on, and written representation of numbers. The first 2 days we did the activities with counters, it was a slow, slightly painstaking process. However, by the third day the lightbulb turned on, and my kids were able to complete the activities independently! After they had their big assessments, which included showing different ways to make a number, I flipped straight to that section of the test to find that they did AMAZING! Nearly every single one of my students got every one of those questions right. It was such a great feeling to know that an activity I created really helped them grasped the concept 100%! (Cause, as we all know, not everything we try in the classroom works, as much as we'd like that to be the case!)

Here it is in action:

To help my students keep track of the number sentences they had created and ensure that they didn't make the same one twice, I created checklists for each number. As they created each number sentence, they found it on the checklist and crossed it off.

Double-sided red/yellow counters worked wonderfully with this concept. To make it simpler for my kids, I had them start with the counters all on the same color to record the number sentence. To make the next one, they were only allowed to flip over one counter at a time. This also was helpful to keep them on track for decomposing the numbers in different ways.

I shared these activities with my kinder team and they told me that I just HAD to post in on TPT - so I created a new little activity pack with all of the sheets you see here, plus more! I have included printable red/yellow counters for you to create your own if you do not have the plastic ones seen here. I also made the activity sheets on legal sized paper so the kids had plenty of room to show their work. Here is a preview of the "How Many Ways?" pack available in my store:

To check out this product in my store, click on the picture below! It will be on sale (15% off!) until Friday!

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  1. Fantastic! We're beginng to decompose this week. Thank you so much!

  2. Looking forward to using this in a center once I head back to work.