Which do your children dislike more, 1st grade math or household chores? In both of these instances, you can create excitement and enhance learning by making a game out of it. Here are three ways you can encourage 1st grade subtraction practice while building excitement about chores.
One task that many families have to tackle is sorting recycling items. This is a great way to introduce 1st grade subtraction concepts. Simply have your child count the items before he starts to sort. Then, have him count the items in each category of recyclable item and subtract them from the total.
So, if you have 10 recyclable items, and 4 of them are paper items, the child would subtract the 4 paper items from the 10 recyclable items while putting them in the “paper” bin. Then you have 6 items left. Continue subtracting until you get to 0.
To make a game out of this, divide the recycling into two piles. See who can get the smallest number with just one item sorted. This will require the child to choose the largest category to sort first.
Subtract the Dishes
Does your child enjoy doing the dishes? Make it more fun by engaging them mentally in the process. The silverware basket is an excellent place to start.
Before you begin unloading the dishes, count the number of items in the silverware basket. Then, take out some and put them away, counting what you put away. Subtract to find out how many are left in the basket. See if your answer is right by counting again.
Sometimes getting kids excited about chores requires making it a race. If you only have one first grader to work with, you can’t have him race against a sibling, but you can have him race against the clock. Tell your child you are giving him 15 minutes to complete a set number of tasks. Then, have him rush to do the first task. Instead of setting a timer to count down the minutes, use a stopwatch to see how many minutes he has used. Stop the stopwatch, and subtract to see how many minutes are left to complete the remaining tasks. Challenge him to do all of the tasks before his time gets to zero.
Chores and 1st grade subtraction – both are something most kids would rather not do. Make it fun and you will find your child getting excited about tasks that were once a drag. If you are looking for additional support and encouragement with 1st grade subtraction, turn to Thinkster Math, your personalized tutoring program using iPad, to keep kids excited, engaged and learning.