Our scope and sequence calls for us to introduce adding to 5 and addition in the first quarter of kindergarten. True story. The first time I saw this a few years ago I was not happy. I might given some angry arms that day. However, we realized that this was actually very doable for our kids if we taught this skill in a very concrete way. So, during the first quarter of the year, we introduce adding simply as “putting together and counting!” And it works. We already know how to add!
We spend about 2 weeks learning how to add and practicing adding to 5. So of course that means I’m always on the lookout for fun games and activities to practice this math strategy. Well, a few years ago we were struggling with subtraction and we started using an activity called GET OFF MY BOAT. Really. We made a boat on the floor. Kids got on the boat. Kids got off the boat to show that subtraction means take away. When we played this game our understanding of subtraction clicked. So, why not reverse this idea for adding? And thus was born GET ON MY BOAT!
You’ll need a boat. We make a simple boat on the floor using SitSpots Tape.
It’s very simple. We have some people on our boat. And we have some swimmers. When Mr. Greg yells “SHARK!” The swimmers jump on the boat. See how we are “putting together” to add?
Write an equation on the board. The first number is the number of people on the boat. The second number is the number of swimmers.
Yell “SHARK!” and watch the excitement. Then you count to find the answer.
And that’s how we use GET ON MY BOAT for practicing adding to 5! And guess what? We will use this later in the year for adding to 10 and 20! BAM!
Check out the video to see this addition strategy in action!
If you want to see the original GET OFF MY BOAT lesson, check out this post below:
Check out these addition resources for more adding to 5 fun!
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