These part-part-whole activities help kids to learn that numbers can be represented in different ways. Kids will also learn about fact families.
Teaching Part Part Whole
Teaching kids about part-part-whole helps them learn that numbers can be represented in different ways, for example four as 1 and 3, 2 and 2, or 4 and 0. Basically, each number can be split into two parts. Kids also learn how to represent part-part-whole relationships in diagrams and number sentences.
Useful Teaching Aids
Connecting cubes and links are awesome for modelling a number as two parts of a whole. A cheap alternative you can also use is colored paperclips or a paper chain. It’s best if you limit the colors to two only, so that children can easily see the two parts of a number.
Make a number using two colored connecting cubes (or something similar). For example, in the photo below, seven is made out of two parts. The first part is made of 4 blue cubes and the second part is made of 3 pink cubes. This tells us that together, the numbers 4 and 3 make seven. Explore other ways of making seven, still using the same two colors. Below are some activities that are designed to teach part-part-whole further.
Activity 1- Part Part Whole Work Mats
For this activity you’ll need some connecting cubes or links, a laminated work mat and an erasable marker. There are a few different work mats to choose from. Begin with the simple mats containing space to write just one number sentence and later on use the fact family work mats.
How to play…
Kids need to use connecting cubes to model a whole number with two parts. Then they write the number sentence on the work mat. There are task cards you can use or kids can just explore making different numbers on their own. Rolling a dice can be a fun way of picking a number to work on.
Activity 2 – Write and Wipe Mats
These fill in the blank part part whole mats need to be laminated or placed in a clear sleeve so that they can be used with an erasable marker. There are four levels to choose from, I recommend starting at level 1 where kids basically add the two parts together to work out the missing whole number. It’s good to have connecting cubes or links available for kids who may struggle to work out the answers mentally.
How to play…
Write the missing number in the empty box. Level 1 and level 2 focus on working out the missing whole numbers. Level 3 and level 4 focus on working out the missing parts of the whole number.
Activity 3 – Part Part Whole Worksheets
These come in a variety of levels and begin with the simple numbers. Kids need to work out the missing whole number or missing part number. Answer sheets are included.
Example – Style 1
Example – Style 2
Activity 4 – Fact Family Work Mats & Task Cards
For this activity you’ll need some connecting cubes or links, a laminated work mat and an erasable marker. There are also task cards that you may like to use.
Kids begin by working out a part-part-whole problem to solve. Next, they need to model the number using connecting cubes. Finally, they need to write the number sentences on the fact family work mat.
Activity 5 – Fact Family Worksheets
These come in a variety of levels and begin with the simple fact families. Kids need to write the addition and subtraction number sentences for each fact family. Answer sheets are included.
To find out more about these activities click here.
Part Part Whole Freebie
If you’re looking for more hands-on part part whole resources be sure to grab the llama addition cards below. These are best suited to kids in kindergarten and first grade.