Hands-On Math: Addition And Subtraction

Math should be hands-on and we’re always looking for ways to make our hands-on math lessons fun and novel. Why not use toys to practice addition and subtraction? We all know that kids learn more when they’re playing so let’s give them some toy cars to practice adding and subtracting!

What kid doesn’t love playing with cars? And when thinking about addition as putting together and subtraction as take away, think about roads and garages! For these lessons, we use toy cars and car manipulatives included in our Math It Up! resources!

The focus of these lessons is writing and solving equations! We also are using various strategies such as ten frames to add and subtract.

We start with modeled whole group lessons and then we release the work to the kids to work independently.

This activity is simply putting two groups together. We put the correct number of cars in each box and count to add. Students then write their equations.

This lesson is using a ten frame to subtract. Students put the cars on the ten frames and then remove them. And then they write the equation.

We had students put cars in the “garage” and take the cars out. We have them putting cars on the road and adding more cars.

In this activity, the kids are working completely on their own. They choose an equation, use the cars on the road to solve the equation, and finally, they write the equation. This activity is also a math center!

The kids had a blast and using the cars kept them engaged and helped them solidify their understanding of addition and subtraction.

These videos show these lessons in action in our classroom. (Note: these videos were recorded when masks were required. Masks are no longer required.)

Here’s another fun way to use this resource to make a math center!

We printed the equation cards on paper and put them inside the car/truck-shaped candy containers from Dollar Tree! Students open the container and use cars to solve the equations.

For more addition and subtraction resources, check out these creations:

For more ideas and resources, check out these posts:

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