Zoey is completing an experience we refer to as "the counting jar.". The basis of counting is composition. We take one jewel, add another and repeat the process until we have counted all of our jewels. She is exploring the sequence of numbers in the context of a number line framework (each line in the numberline is a multiple of five).
As a class, we consider the strategies that help structure our thinking. Are there more jewels than five but less than ten? How many more jewels than ten are in the counting jar?
This work is a prelude to addition and subtraction. We are beginning to add parts together and subtract parts from the whole. We start with games and then begin to formalize the process with the addition, subtraction and equals symbols.
Cal explained his strategy for this domino.
He knows that five plus five equals ten and then he added the remaining one.
Cal decomposed the six into two numbers facilitating his process.
When writing the number eight how do we utilize different lines, curves and circles together (composition)? We start with the parts and then construct the whole number.
The children understand that varying movement and combination of shapes composes other shapes. We often play the game Fill the Hexagons. The children may use any of the pattern blocks in different combinations to create a hexagon. Each hexagon must look different.
Again, the whole is defined as the sum of its parts.
Symbols and algorithm do not hold meaning until children have ample time to explore the mathematical thinking present in the process of composition and decomposition.