At a conference last fall, I heard Kim Sutton mention something about using Zoo Pal Paper Plates to show parts and whole in math. She briefly described putting the parts in the ears and then showing the whole in the larger plate area. I'm not exactly sure how she uses the plates. But I wanted to experiment with the idea...
I couldn't find the zoo plates locally (Amazon link is below), but decided to try it with a plastic plate from a local one buck store. (My plate is sorta like this divided plastic picnic plate.) I've used this a couple different ways to explore the part-whole relationship in addition with my 5yo...
He tossed one die into each of the smaller compartments and put that many items (I used centimeter cubes) in each dish. He wrote down the two dice numbers in an addition number sentence. So if he rolled "2" and "3," he put 2 cubes in one small slot, 3 in the other small slot and wrote "2 + 3." He then moved all the cubes to the bigger area (the whole) to count the total and finish the number sentence (= 5.)
With Pre-Written Number Sentences & Penguin Pieces:
I wrote several number sentences. (Photo above models 2+2.) If the sentence was 2 + 4, he counted out 2 marble penguins into the first small compartment and 4 marble penguins into the second small compartment. He then moved all the penguins into the larger compartment, counted the total and finished his number sentence.
This could easily be replicated at home or school. And could be used with subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals and more. Enjoy!
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