Monday, April 21, 2014

I Went To Home Depot For 1 Thing And Came Home With...

... Paint Chips!

(You can read about the REAL reason I went to Home Depot at the end of this post.)

You know, those little cards with paint colors on them.  I had see them used for all kinds of word building, but I decided to try making SUBTRACTION CARDS!
They come in so many cool colors too.

Yes, Subtraction Cards: 

I started by folding the cards and adding stickers.  My first set was all about the number 5:
Use these without the numerals and symbols for T.K.

They are perfect for developing fluency when 
adding and subtracting to and from 5.  

Next, I printed up subtraction equations from 5.
You know:  
5 - 0 = 5
5 - 1 = 4
5 - 2 = 3
5 - 3 = 2
5 - 4 = 1
5 - 5 = 0

(I used Comic Sans in a 36.)

I cut them out and glued them to the paint chips under the stickers.

This Is How They Work:

The student looks at the first 2 panels and reads the beginning of the number sentence 5 - 1:  
The last 2 panels are folded under the card.

Then, the student opens up the panels that are folded below and...

...folds them down to cover the 2nd panel:

The 1st panel is still showing.  The "= 4" is on the last panel.

Last, they read the number sentence and see that they have only 4 eggs left.

Continue With The Next Equation:

 It's OK if the 3rd panel is showing
and only the 4th panel is folded
beneath the other panels.
The student reads, "5 minus 2..."
"... equals 3."

Here is 5 minus 3:

The student says, "5 minus 3..."

"... equals 2."

Here is 5 - 4:

"5 minus 4..."

"... equals 1."

Students can also compare the green and yellow cards to see how 5 - 2 = 3 compares to 5 - 3 = 2.
Or they can compare the blue and orange cards to see how 5 - 1 = 4 compares to 5 - 4 = 1.

You can use stickers, draw shapes, or use sticky-back rhinestones.  Wouldn't rhinestones be cute?

Here Is 5 - 5:

"5 minus 5..."

"... equals 0."

And Here Is The Set Of "Subtraction From 5" Cards:

I think they are super colorful and just the right size to fit into my little ones' hands.

And here they are all folded up with just the 1st and last panels showing so you can see the equations:

I'm loving these soooo much.  I'll have to make another trip to Home Depot for some more so I can make the subtraction sets.from 4 to 1.

So, Would You Like To Know Why I Went To Home Depot?

(You are going to like this tip.)
I needed to line my cupboard, but I don't like the way contact paper can tear over time and I don't like those mats that keep glasses from sliding around.  I need the glasses to slide back as I fill the cupboard, sooooooo I use
Peel-and-stick linoleum floor tiles
These are 39 cents each at Home Depot.

Yep, you heard right.  Those peel-and-stick "no wax" linoleum floor tiles can be cut with scissors to fit any drawer or cupboard and they wash up easily.  
I love how my glasses just slide to the back
as I push them back with additional glasses.

Think about how great these would be under your sink or in the pantry where oil can drip down the side of the oil bottle or even worse, ANTS!  You can clean up any mess because the surface is smooth, durable, and always shiny.  
2 shelved done in no time.

You can match the tiles to your cabinets, but these are so high
that no one will see into them.
This cabinet is above a raised dishwasher.
I had to stand on a chair to take this photo.

This tip was given to me about 20 years ago by my sweet Aunt Josephine who I miss every day.  

See you all tomorrow.


  1. I love this! I love how the number disappears to get the concept of subtraction . Definitely trying it out. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Awesome, Julie! I think I would make all the # sentences from 5 in one color, like blue. Then I would make all the # sentences from 4 in green, etc. Just a thought I had after making all of these in rainbow colors. :) So glad you liked this. There are soooo many possibilities.

    I was thinking that you could write the letters "c", "a", & "n" on the 1st 3 panels and an "e" on the last panel. Fold the last panel under so it's hidden and then create the "long vowel/silent e" word from the CVC word: can becomes cane when you reveal the last panel! :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, Rochelle. Aunt Josephine was ahead of her time with that idea! :)

  4. Great idea!! I'm going to head to Home Depot this week and get started making this fabulous subtraction activity! Thanks!