Just recently, I attended a training session called *Reading in Math*. It was an interesting session that really stretched my thoughts about reading. While the session was designed for upper elementary, middle, and high school, I had a lot of take-aways for my own kiddos, especially when it came to word problems and math vocabulary. While my Kindergartner has the basics of how to add and subtract, I wanted to stretch him a bit and bring in some of that math vocabulary.

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### Learning to Add and Subtract with a Graphic Organizer

Learning new concepts works best if we start with the concrete and then move to the abstract. For math especially, this can mean hands-on and manipulatives. And that’s exactly what you will find as you use this free printable math pack {download at the end of this post}.

In this pack, you’ll find a graphic organizer I call *Mickey Martian*, a borrowed name from a veteran teacher. I used it quite a bit when I was a classroom teacher to introduced addition and subtraction. And we’ve been using it for several years at home as well. You can slip it into a plastic sleeve protector or laminate it.

*Mickey Martian* works well for both addition and subtraction, depending on which way you orient him. I like to teach addition with him first. The child reads the number sentence and places the number of manipulatives needed in each “ear”. Then, the child slides all the manipulatives down into the “head” as he adds them together.

It I also works with subtraction. Just turn the organizer upside down. Place the total amount needed in the “head”, then take away the number, placing the manipulatives in the “ear”.

### Add and Subtract with Word Problems

NJoy (in Kindergarten) knows how to use *Mickey Martian* for addition and subtraction. So this week, we used it to solve word problems with addition and subtraction.

First we played a matching game. After reading the word problem together, I asked him to match up the number sentence to each problem. I only gave 5-6 matching pairs at one time until I knew he had it.

We also talked about the match vocabulary in the word problems that gave him a clue that he should add or subtract. He mentioned that *more* should also go under “+”. And while this is true, I mentioned that sometimes the phrase *many more* can tell us to subtract. He was a little confused by this until we worked one of the word problems together that had the phrase in it. *I’ve included more and many more in the download.*

We then tackled some word problems together. On day 1, we did mainly addition problems. We read each problem and used the math organizer to solve the problem,

then he wrote the number sentence with dry erase marker.

On day 2 of word problems, we worked on subtraction problems and writing the subtraction sentences. And on day 3, we mixed up the addition and subtraction word problems. We worked together to figure out which operation he needed to use, based on the math vocabulary in the word problem. He worked the problem on *Mickey Martian*, then recorded the number sentence.

So, math and reading aren’t as separate as we may think! Reading can be integrated right into math, from word problems to vocabulary!

### More Math Ideas:

- Alphabet Grid Games (numbers 1-20, 1-30 and 1-50)
- Skip Counting Word Problems
- Find Seasonal Addition and Subtraction Mats in every Pre-K/K Pack!
- m & m Math

Follow This Reading Mama’s board Math Learning for Kids on Pinterest.

### Download this Math Printable Pack HERE.

Please note that I am now using a new clip art company. My files are required to be secured. Please read the helpful tips if you are not able to download or print the file. Thanks!

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~Becky

Carrie says

Are you going to have a long vowel and/or silent e app anytime soon? I hope so! Can’t wait!!!

thisreadingmama says

Yes, it’s already being sold on Google Play. iOS is coming soon! 🙂 http://thisreadingmama.com/long-vowel-word-study-app/

sarah says

thank you, this looks like it will be great in the classroom. Can’t wait to put it to work

thisreadingmama says

You’re very welcome!