Tag: ece math

Addition Snake Game

A funny name for a presentation no?

The addition snake game is a way to learn addition memorization, addition exchanges, number bonds, among other things.  Here is one way to present it:

How it works

Hopefully the video explains it so much better than what I’m about to describe.

Basically you first lay out a black/white bead stair.  Then you create a rainbow snake out of various length bead bars.  Now you start counting up to 10, exchanging that for a 10 golden bead bar and using the black/white bead bars for the remaining numbers.  Start counting from the black/white bead bars and exchange for 10 golden bead bar.  You keep doing this until you’ve got a golden snake with a little rattle.

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Positive (or Addition) Snake Game

Age: 4.75yrs

positive snake gameToday, Astroboy chose a work that he had been introduced to, but didn’t want to work on, almost 3 months ago, at the beginning of January.  This time I changed my presentation format.  I’ve been letting him take over when he shows interest during a presentation over the past few months.  But recently I’d began to wonder if this is why he shows no interest in the work itself after the presentation.

So this time around, I showed him how to put his hands on his lap (it’s not in the writeup) and told him that I got to go first and then it would be his turn.  I did a classic presentation where I didn’t speak much and moved slowly but surely.  A minute in, he told me he wanted to trade the golden beads and we can take turns.  I reminded him that I would show it to him first.  Thankfully he did not throw a fit and let me continue.

Mark the spot where you count to 10, exchange that for 10-bar (gold) and place black/white bead bars for leftover beads.
Mark the spot where you count to 10, exchange that for 10-bar (gold) and place black/white bead bars for leftover beads.

The positive snake game comes after you’ve worked on the addition strip board.  You lay out some colored beads to form a “rainbow snake” and through counting, you exchange every 10 beads for one golden bead 10-bar, and whatever is left over with some black/white beads.  Directly, all they’re doing is counting.  We only show the child how to count 1 by 1.  However, the child will inevitably start recognizing the bead bars by their colors and start to skip when they count.  For example, you could have an 8 bar and 9 bar, and instead of saying, “1, 2, 3, ….” they would count “8, 9, 10, 11…”  Indirectly they’re learning how to add where the sum is greater than 10.

I think, even more indirectly, they’re learning how many different ways you can add up to 10.  I’ve seen a few kindergarten worksheets and they usually have problems that ask ___ + ___ = 10 and want you to give them a few possibilities.  Or they ask you to list the different ways you can add up to 10 (1+9, 2+2+2+2+2).  This second question leaves it open ended and allows the child to see just how many ways you can add up to a number.

Anyways, isn’t it neat that this all gets worked into a simple exercise whose direct aim is just counting?

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First, lay out black/white bead stairs

Of course, being a child, Astroboy didn’t just want to do what I showed him to do.  He wanted to make a super long snake that fills up the WHOLE length of the rug.  I was able to leave him after the presentation (yay!) and he exchanged a few himself.  But then it was lunch time and he interrupted himself, cleaned everything up and put it away.  (Another first!)  I felt so sad I had to interrupt his work but we really had to go to the library before swim practice today as I had lots of overdue books.

Arrange color bead stairs into a super long snake and start exchanging
Arrange color bead stairs into a super long snake and start exchanging

Tonight, he pulled it all out again, set it up and tried again.  Unfortunately, this time it was the end of the night and he could not really concentrate.  He called me over every 5 minutes to work with him.  I finally stopped him, left the work as is, and put everyone to bed.

Hopefully we will be able to finish our long rainbow snake that is molting into a golden snake tomorrow.