For the last two weeks, my students have been having fun learning math in non-textbook ways. One game that we have been using on a daily basis for about five minutes each day is “Finger Math”. It quickly gives students practice adding and subtracting in a fun atmosphere, with manipulative support. This activity is easily differentiated and appropriate for first graders, second graders, third, fourth, and so on!
- Have two students face each other.
- Each student choose a number from 1-10.
- When students are ready, they show their number using their fingers.
- Have students quickly add all fingers shown from both students and say the answer.
- The student with the correct answer wins a point. Have students check by counting all fingers.
- Play continues until one student wins. In my class, that’s five points to win.
- Subtract the student with the least fingers from the student with the most finger.
- Play with one hand instead of two hands (meaning 1-5 instead of 1-10) for students who aren’t ready to add the higher numbers. Differentiated instruction.
- For more difficult problems, have three or four students play against each other. This is also an excellent scaffold for adding three addends.
- After each play, have students write the corresponding number sentence in their math journal.
- Instead of adding or subtracting, have students multiply.
I am trying out a new second grade reading and writing homework using the Tree Map. My goal is for students to prepare students to be able to dissect a story, looking at the characters, setting, problem and solution. Eventually, I want to transition into using the academic language of “characters, setting, problem and solution” but for now, I’m using scaffolding language. Take a look to see if it’s useful for you.