Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

Number Talk Activities

Part Part Whole

Part Part whole involves seeing numbers in more than one part (three becomes two + one) and is usually introduced once students are able to count confidently. A strong understanding of this concept has been shown to increase understanding of other concepts like place value, addition, word problems and number sense. For this reason it is one of the concepts that we revisit many different ways during the Kindergarten year always using concrete materials.

Like all math activities I introduce it first in small groups of six students. Using a friendly number, I begin the activity using two strategies; think aloud and modeling. Choosing a friendly number enables students to focus on the concept rather than a difficult number. I show a model to the students and ask them to talk with their partner. Next, I ask a few to share different combinations like 2+3 which I demonstrate using manipulatives. 

The next time I meet with the students I review the activity and then introduce the number again using a sorting plate. Together we sort objects, like buttons. We return to this activity as many times as needed.

At another time in our schedule, with the whole group, I introduce a circle game using student volunteers and play the part, part, whole game using the bodies and finger flashes to build fluency. By now we have made thinking maps for a few numbers as a teaching tool to refer to.

In this version of shake and spill the student would say "3 + 2" (three off the duck and two on the duck).

When ready, the students play part part whole games like Shake and Spill with a partner, my job moving to support and reteaching individuals needed. Each group has a cup and five two sided counters. They shake the cup and spill the counters counting how many are red and how many are white. It is important throughout that the children do math talk "three plus two". 

There are many activities that your students can play using concrete models to show part part whole such as folding a piece of paper into five rows and using two bingo dobbers to make the number in different combos. These samples make excellent wall displays so that children can reference their own combinations of friendly numbers. Adding the games to math work stations keeps the concept fresh and builds that important knowledge needed for addition, subtraction and math problems.

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