Whole and Part Work Mats are ideal for helping children understand addition and subtraction. Ever had a child write 6 - 8 = 2? This helps children understand why this isn’t mathematically correct.
This set includes three themed mats (circus, farm, and pond)both in color and black and white.
For addition, give each student a work mat and counters equal to the sum you are trying to introduce. Have them place the counters, some in each part to show the two addends. Next, the students should move the counters up to the whole area to find the sum. They can also use the number cards to build the addition sentence as they are working.
In subtraction, do the opposite. Have the students put the whole number on the mat first, up at the top. Have them take away a part, and see what part is left. They can also build the subtraction fact with the number cards.
To help you explain each mat, I use the illustrations as wholes and parts. We have the whole farm. However, the horse is one part, while the cow is another part. Together, they help make the whole farm. The same illustration works with the pond and the circus. The circus is the whole, while the clown and the lion are parts. The pond is the whole, while the fish and the shell are parts. The students should be able to make the connection between the whole and parts with numbers.