The first grade teachers at school absolutely love introducing subtraction and addition number sentences to their kids using the book Ten Flashing Fireflies by Philemon Sturges. I discovered this book in a lesson recorded in a Math Solutions book entitled Minilessons for Math Practice K-2. There is also a similar lesson (I think…not positive) in another Math Solutions book entitled Teaching Arithmetic. In the lesson students model the action of gathering fireflies into a jar using snap cubes. In the book there is a jar printable to use or the lesson suggests using a sheet of blue construction paper to represent the night sky. Not only is this lesson good for introducing the action of subtraction and addition, but it is also good for discussing one more and one less. Because this is such a beloved book that builds a great foundation for addition and subtraction, I worked on building this free SMART Board lesson to accompany the book this weekend, and so here is an example of this lesson. Just click to download the SMART Board lesson for free.
I learned this simple but powerful game–Make Ten from Melissa Conklin of Math Solutions at NCTM two years ago. The first and second graders at school have successfully played this game for several days to help strengthen their number sense. They have already become much more fluent in recognizing the sums (bonds) of ten. Make a deck of ten frame cards. Downloadable for free right here (Free Ten Frame Cards). Copy the printables four times so you have enough to make a deck. Students lay out four cards from the deck face up on the table between two to four partners. (I think the game works best with pairs). Then students take turns to pull two cards that have a sum of ten. If there are not two cards that have a sum of ten then students may pull one more and place it face up in the middle of the table until there are a set of two cards that will make ten. When students pull the pair of cards from the center of the table, they say the equation that matches, for example, three and seven make 10 or three plus seven equals 10. After students have played the game once or twice, have them record their equations in their journal. I highly recommend playing this game to build number foundations to ten.
I am also posting a clip here of a ten frame SMART Board slide I made for my K-2 teachers to adapt to their specific needs. This slide has all of the ten frame cards on it from 0-10 and would be great to adapt for many Math Solutions lessons such as this one.