With the aid of colorful illustrations (including googly eyes) we discussed what it means to add something to an object. In this case, there were two paper ghosts.
Underneath each ghost was a number. Between each ghost was a “plus” sign.
A class discussion was then initiated as a means to relay the meaning of this exciting symbol.
We then added a counting element to this activity. Using googly eyes, we practiced adding them to our ghosts. Using real life items illustrates this complicated concept for young children, and enables them to make connections not allotted by simply using a paper and pencil.
Manipulating colorful materials also provides instant feedback, which enables students to create meaningful connections between a concept and its application to real world situations.