Using penguins to decompose parts of a whole.

My oldest daughter is learning about decomposing parts of a whole in her Kindergarten math class. In order to incorporate additional practice I made a penguin theme activity in which I laminated to reuse often.

I wanted to keep the penguin play mat as an open ended activity therefore I went ahead and stuck the equal sign at the end of the addition problem. Since my youngest (age 2) is currently learning to count I wanted to make the activity one that could be helpful at both their levels. By keeping the equal sign at the end of the addition problem it makes the penguin activity suitable for basic addition practice. I used a dry erase board to further talk about decomposing the number 12 (12= 5+7) and introduce different ways to make that number. Writing out several different ways to make the number 12 also provided an opportunity to further explain that in addition problems no matter which number is first the answer is always the same. For example 5+7 and 7+5 both equal 12. During the activity you can allow the child to pick a number and then have them break down that number. Then ask them to tell you how many penguins are in the water and how many penguins are on land. Allowing them to play around with different numbers. I know for my daughter when she feels in control of an activity she’s more prone to follow through and enjoy it.

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