Going back to school well prepared is key when it comes to teaching preschool! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you enter a classroom with so many different skill levels. Some preschoolers are finally potty-trained. Some preschoolers are finally happy about being in school. And some preschoolers are almost ready to read. And you’ve got to reach them all in developmentally appropriate ways. So how does that happen exactly? Well, it’s all about using learning activities that you can also use to differentiate for and assess your kiddos at the same time.
Counting Bears One More One Less Number Mats
The counting bears one more one less numbers mats include both a color and black and white version. Print either mat from the pink button below. If using the black and white copy, consider printing on fun colored paper.
Laminate the number or use a plastic page protector to create a reusable and durable learning center.
To prep the counting bears one more one less activity, gather your set of plastic counting bears, magnetic numbers, and dice or number cards.
In my classroom I like to use trays with these kind of learning centers. It allows little kids to keep their materials where they belong, and helps keep the focus on the activity.
To play, roll the die. Identify the number of dots. Add that many counting bears to the middle column. This column is labeled The Number. This is the number that you are starting with.
After the counting bears are added to the middle column, move to the right.
Some preschoolers will know right away what number comes next. Some will have no idea. To find the number in the One More column, count just beyond The Number. Or add the same amount of counting bears to the One More column. Then add one more. Count the bears again to find the answer.
The same method can be used to find the number that belongs in the One Less column. Try counting backwards and stop after The Number. Or add the same number of counting bears to the One Less column and then take one away. Count the new total to find the answer.
Add the magnetic numbers to the columns to add another element of practicing number sense skills.
An easy additional math activity can be to use the magnetic numbers and the counting bears to group them according to the number. See the photo below as an example.
Roll again and find the new number of counting bears that need to be added to The Number column.
This is a great activity that can used all year long. Introducing the one more one less concept in circle time and practicing from time to time will strengthen your preschoolers’ number sense skills and build confidence.
Looking for other counting bears and back to school learning activities?
Now grab your freebie counting bears one more one less number mats and get counting!