Confession: I’m a Dollar Tree addict. There, I admit it. I have a problem. You see, I stroll around that amazing store and fill my cart up with items that my brain says would be great in my classroom, like these trays that make a great kindergarten addition lesson!
Seriously, as soon as I walk into TDT I just want to throw my hands in the air and shout “BUY ALL THE THINGS!”
And then all of those items end up in my garage waiting for my brain to come up with classroom use. Sometimes it happens…and other times, well, let’s just say we’ve added major storage in my office for all of my teaching stuff.
But…sometimes I see something and say “OMG! I can do…blah blah…with those.” And I buy them. But not just the number I need. Nope. I buy a few extras. Just in case. I mean, what if they don’t have them ever again?! Does that make me a teacher hoarder?
I have a bunch of these trays and I’ve used them for painting trays. Works great.
PRO TIP: If you’re a super picky eater like me, these make great plates so your food never touches! Follow me for more life hacks!
I mean for a dollar and a quarter…you might as well buy 20. Or 30. Or more.
As soon as I these fun colors, I knew exactly what I was going to do.
Make an addition sorting game. And make it flowery because these trays look like flowers!
Did you know that sorting activities are higher-order thinking activities for kids? The more sorting we can do the better!
So here’s how I made this fun kindergarten addition game!
I made numbers using my Silhouette Cameo machine! But don’t worry. If you don’t have one of those, you can totally use a Sharpie or print numbers on clear mailing labels and stick those to the tray! Or use dot stickers from Amazon to make the numbers. Easy peasy!
Pro tip: using the dot stickers makes these reusable. The dot stickers can peel off so you can reuse these trays if you want!
It works perfectly for adding to 10. Or subtracting to 10. Or adding and subtracting to 20!
Having two trays makes differentiation easy too.
After the trays were prepared I made some flowery addition cards and a recording sheet.
And BAM! Flower Power Addition!
Put the cards in the middle of the flower.
Students choose a card.
Solve the equation.
Sort the card in the flower petal for the correct answer.
Write the equation and answer on the recording sheet!
Cheap. Easy. Engaging. Easy to differentiate.
And this same concept could be used for so many skills:
And I have now successfully used .000000000001% of my Dollar Tree purchases!
Snag your freebie by clicking on the picture!
For more addition and subtraction creations, check out these resources: