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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
Stories help to make addition word problems and subtraction word problems more engaging, especially when the students themselves appear in the stories! All kindergarten students love a good story, and with their limited attention spans, the shorter the better. Using stories is an excellent way of introducing mathematical word problems for kindergarten, as they help students make sense of why anyone would care how many kites or flowers there are. These addition and subtraction worksheets for kindergarten are a great year-round resource and the sheer variety of problems within 10 means there’s lots of opportunity to practice.
Using Addition and Subtraction Worksheets For Word Problems
From an academic standpoint, word problems in the kindergarten class are an excellent goal for the end of the year. They culminate both the ability to read short sentences but also perform the abstract concepts of addition and subtraction. To help students be ready to tackle these addition word problems and subtraction word problems, they need to be able to read a good variety of kindergarten sight words, as well as be able to spot the pattern words of “more”, “altogether” for addition, and to learn different verbs that indicate subtraction: “fly away”, “fall off”, “give away”.
Preparing Addition and Subtraction Word Problems
The neat thing about these word problems for kindergarten is that they are ready to go straight off the printer. If you print a full set of both packs, you’ll need to keep a record of which addition word problems and subtraction word problems you’ve used in your math centers so students get a fresh challenge each time.
Scaffolding Word Problems For Kindergarten
Only a handful of kindergarten students will be able to complete these addition and subtraction worksheets for kindergarten independently. To help scaffold the activity to get success for everyone, try some of these activities:
Act it out – acting it out keeps the storytelling aspect of word problems alive, and you’ll never see higher engagement from your students as they pretend to be the characters in the word problem. You can teach a lot of social skills about turn-taking and make-believe while helping them visualize the word problem, as well as having some fun working out how to make oranges roll off a table or finding robots for a shelf.
Draw pictures – while most students will enjoy the fine motor practice of cutting out the images on the right-hand side of each worksheet to manipulate, there will be more artistic-minded students who want to draw the word problem. This should be encouraged as it will be an excellent strategy as they move the grades and the word problems become more complex.
Repeat the reading – finally, you can work with students on each page and underline the tricky words (often the key nouns and verbs). Rehearse these words with them using flashcards so that when you come to the worksheet in future weeks, they can read and solve the problem themselves. If you’re worried that they’ll remember the equation instead of solving the word problem, simply white out the numbers and choose your own.