Popsicle Stick Math: Making 10
Lesson Objective: Learn about combinations of 10 by counting popsicle sticks
Grades K-3 / Math / Counting

Thought starters

  1. How does using popsicle sticks help students learn about addition and subtraction?
  2. Why does Ms. Saul do this activity one-on-one rather than with a large group?
  3. How is this activity a telling assessment of student understanding?
19 Comments
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I'm definitely going to do this! Thank you for sharing!
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Thank you :).
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I plan to use this in my rti group. Thanks for sharing!
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Most of my students are EL learners, they learned best by seeing and touching objects.I am going to try your strategy with my 4th graders. Thank you for sharing. Rom
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Transcripts

  • [00:00]
    Interviewer: Popsicle stick math is a way for me to work with a student who still doesn’t have a really

    [00:00]
    Interviewer: Popsicle stick math is a way for me to work with a student who still doesn’t have a really solid sense of what 10 looks like. They have 10 popsicle sticks. They count them at the beginning to assure themselves that they do have 10. And they’re asked to put down sticks onto a table in what we refer to as sets, so show me a set of 5, show me a set of 9.

    When a student initially begins, they will individually count the sticks each time. If I ask for 7 sticks, they’ll individually count 7 sticks. Then the next card’s pulled down, and they sort of grab them all up again and start over.

    As you progress through this activity multiple times, they start to get the sense that if you want seven sticks on the table, you can just keep three in your hand. They’re getting that visual of 7 and 3 make 10. They’re also continually adding and subtracting from other numbers. It helps them to be able to calculate more quickly.

    [End of Audio]

Teachers

Jen Saul
English Language Arts Math Science Social Studies Arts / 3 / Teacher

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