What You Need:
- Piece of Cardboard (approximately 12” x 16”)
- Elastic string
- 20 or more beads
What You Do:
- Write "+" and "=" signs horizontally across the top of the long side of the cardboard with spaces in front of and after both signs.
- Write "-" and "=" signs horizontally across the bottom of the long side of the cardboard with spaces in front of and after both signs.
- Cut two slits on both of the short sides of the piece of cardboard.
- Cut two long pieces of elastic string. One will be the addition string, while the other will be the subtraction string.
- String the beads on each piece of the elastic, then tie them around the long sides of the board, nestling the strings in the slits so that they're secured.
- Encourage your child to move the beads along each of the elastic strings to illustrate number sentences as he says them out loud. For example, the equation "2 + 3 = 5" would be depicted on the equation board as two beads in front of the plus sign, three beads after the plus sign, and five beads after the equal sign.
Always remember: with math facts, repetition and memorization are crucial. Try combining this teaching aid with number lines and other math games to make struggles with addition and subtraction facts a thing of the past!