Fall is in the air and apples are all around. There are so many fun ways to use apples to help children learn, not just about science, but also language arts and math skills. Here is an easy math activity to help children with basic addition.
“Math fact fluency” is a big part of the math curriculum in elementary schools now because of Common Core. They want the students to move away from having to solve the problem each time and to just knowing the facts.
But younger children still need practice solving and understanding math problems using manipulatives before they can memorize facts. Apple Addition can help with that!
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Here’s what you need:
- Brown and green construction paper
- Red pompoms, beads, small blocks, or construction paper
- Scrap paper and a pen
The first thing you need to do is make a simple tree out of green and brown construction paper. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Mine is simply a brown trunk and green leaves on top. That’s really all you need. But, of course, you are welcome to be as creative as you wish.
Next, choose some simple addition facts you would like your child to practice. If you write them on scrap paper, then you can reuse the tree trunk as many times as you need.
Finally, you need something to represent the apples. I happened to have a bunch of red pompoms that I could use. But you could also use red beads, small blocks, or red construction paper cut into small circles. Your child can use the “apples” to help solve the addition problem.
This activity would work best for addition facts up to 20. Once you get to sums beyond 20, students tend to use mental math strategies rather than manipulatives.
Here are some ways you can adapt this activity for your child:
- Use two different colored apples to represent the addends
- Solve subtraction problems using the apples
- Use different colored manipulatives to represent oranges, lemons, etc. if you don’t have red