Our FREE lemon picking subtraction activity for Kindergarten will help your student practice subtracting 1 and 2. This subtraction games for kindergarten is a fun way to teach simple subtraction to kindergartners and grade 1 students. This subtraction printables is great for building math fluency. Simply download pdf file with subtraction worksheets to make learning fun!
Subtraction Activity For Kindergarten
Kindergartners and grade 1 students are learning about numbers and how they work. Up to this point, you have presumably provided lots of opportunities to experience subtraction with manipulatives. Using Subtraction Activity For Kindergarten helps kids visualize and really understand the concept that taking away or subtracting will make the number become smaller. Plus these hands-on subtraction games for kindergarten introduce students to the idea of subtraction. Obviously, we need to give children lots of this kind of practice.
Developing Number Fluency
It is no surprise that counting and removing manipulatives will give students the right answer to a subtraction problem. It works well for beginners and is an invaluable tool.
However, students do need to move on from this stage. The next step is to help them develop some subtraction strategies. Our goal is to increase number fluency, so that they can subtract numbers without having to count every object.
Subtraction games for kindergarten
With this in mind, we have created a subtraction activity for Kindergarten and accompanying recording sheets to explore subtracting -1 and -2. The printable consists of a lemon tree and some cute lemon buddies. Number cards provide the starting point. We have provided a color version and a black and white option.
As the students “pick lemons” they will begin to move to from everything to counting down. We are going to simplify everything by limiting the subtraction to -1 and -2!
This is what the children will be exploring
- If you take away 1 from a group, the remaining sum is the previous counting number.
- Subtraction means we are separating objects from a set (taking way) a number from a set.
Students will need to be able to count a group of objects to do this activity. They also need an understanding of one-to one correspondence.
Teachers Tip: Do you have students who experience delays in learning to count despite extra practice? They may have Dyscalculia. It is estimated that 4-6% of the population have this mathematical learning disability and yet very few of them are diagnosed. My son was one of them. Learn more here.
Connecting to the Common Core
- Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
- Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
Subtraction games for kids
- Picking Lemons pdf
- Copy paper
- Laminator (optional)
Print the tree, lemon buddy, and number cards onto card stock. I suggest laminating the activity for durability if you wish. Don’t forget to print a recording sheet for each student. Finally, cut apart the lemon buddy and number cards.
- Place the number cards face down.
- Give each student a recording sheet, the Lemon tree mat and 10 lemon buddies to use as they explore subtraction.
- Pick up a card, turn it over, and read the instructions. The card will direct students to place a specific number of lemon buddies on the tree.
- Students then “pick” 1 lemon from the tree (remove it).
- Show them where to record the numbers on their sheet and complete the subtraction sentence.
- Students place the lemon back on their tree, so they are back to the original number and then practice “picking” 2 lemons.
- Students must complete a new sheet for each number card in order to fill out the number chart.
The the data for the number chart can be collected by a group or a single child.
- Group chart: Have students complete the activity and fill out 1-2 sheets until all the number cards have been used.
- Single child: Have them fill out a couple of sheets at a time. If they become fascinated by the process, they may want to do all the cards in one sitting.
Free subtraction worksheets
Once students have had the chance to fill out their sheets fill out the chart together.
- What is the largest number of lemons we tried?
- Start with that number and work together to fill in the chart. Ask those students who started with 10 to tell the rest of the group how many lemons they had left after they took away 1 and then 2 lemons. Speak out loud as you fill in the chart.
- “The tree had 10 lemons. Then you picked one lemon and had one 9 lemons left on the tree. So, 10 lemons minus 1 equal 1 lemon. We’ll write 10 – 1 = 9
- Repeat the process with 2 lemons, recording 10-2 = 8
- Invite students to help complete the chart, moving from the highest number to the lowest. The children may start to see the patterns emerge. Finish the activity with a short discussion.
Some Possible Questions
- Do you notice any patterns as you look across the rows?
- Do you notice any patterns as you look down the columns?
- What happens when we take a number and subtract 1?
- What happens when we take away 2 from a number?
Remember that you students are all at different stages. Some will see the patterns quickly. Others will not see them yet. These students may need some more practice with manipulatives.
Looking for more subtraction worksheets and subtraction games to make learning to subtract fun? Check out these subtraction math ideas and free resources:
- Sandcastle Subtraction Craft
- Fun Addition and Subtraction Math Mystery Printables
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- Fluency within 5 Subtraction Games for Kids
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- Thanksgiving Math Worksheets – Cut and Paste Subtraction Turkeys
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- See even more FREE subtraction games worksheets!
Kindergarten Subtraction Activity
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