Shamrock Number Bonds

The irony of my next sentence should not be missed – my kids hate worksheets.  Anything on paper really.  (The irony being that I make printable on paper!!).  So I’ve decided to put a LOT more effort into making learning paperless – or as paperless as possible.  So I’m going to do 17 days of St Patricks Day Math activities to get us going.  Every day will feature one math game or activity that typically does not involve sitting at a desk and writing out sums.  My boys are now 4, 6, and 9 so we will be doing a lot of number sense, addition and subtraction, and multiplication.


You can find the rest of the activities on this page!




Day 1: Hands on Number Bonds!


I love the idea behind number bonds.  The visual that some numbers are bonded together…just neat.  I was not taught math this way so I’m a bit jealous (I love math…).  But since worksheets are out and hands on is in, I wanted to make real number bonds.  I used chenille stems (pipe cleaners) to make small circles.  Then I cut some chenille stems in half to use as the bonds.  Finally I got some green gems (tried to get shamrocks at Dollar Tree, but they didn’t have any 🙁 ) to use as our manipulative.  And I printed out a recording sheet.  I filled in the numbers just so we could see the bonds in numeric form…although Logi-Bear got a bit jealous and insisted on filling in the numbers himself.  Whatever works!

I wanted to work on adding to 5 with Logi-Bear and adding to 10 with Royal.  So I filled in the shamrock with 5s and 10s on their sheets before starting.  Then I presented it to them like this.  I put the 10 gems in the “whole” circle and then started one of the “part” circles.  (Going for a part-part-whole model, which really resonates with Royal).



So we went through all the different ways to make 10 (and 5) with gems!  I think the visual really helped – especially Logi-Bear.  He’s turning out to be quite math minded, like me.  I’m hopeless with grammar, but math I can do.



If you’d like the Shamrock Number Bonds recording chart, you can download it here!


Hands On Number Bonds for St Patricks Day

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