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Assessing K-2 Math Skills, Part 2:Operations (Simple Addition and Subtraction)

These simple games (for they can be fun) can help to to assess accurately your child's skill at number operations with simple addition and subtraction.

Concept Level
For this assessment game, ask him to place five objects in your hands. Hide some of the objects in one hand. Show the remaining objects in the other hand and ask him to tell you how many objects are hiding. Repeat this process several times. Try six objects if he is able to answer the questions correctly for the combinations of five objects confidently and with little hesitation. Increase the number of objects until the his responses begin to slow down. Try a smaller number of objects if he was hesitant or responded incorrectly with five objects. Decrease the number of objects until the child can respond correctly.

Connecting Level
Make up some cards with simple addition and subtraction equations. Also have some sort of counters on the table. Show the child an equation card and ask him to use the counters to show what the card means. If the child is comfortable doing that, continue by giving the child several more addition and subtraction equations. Be sure the child has an opportunity to solve vertical and horizontal equations while subtracting and adding.

Symbolic Level
For this level, you only need the counters. Verbally tell the child an addition equations. Ask him to write the equation on a piece of paper and solve it with manipulatives. Repeat the process with a subtraction equations.

Word Problems
Ask him a word problem that he can visualize. Ask him to close his or her eyes and visualize the story in his or her head. The story might be something like:
- “Imagine that you had five gumdrops in your hand. If you gave me three, how many would you have left?”
- “Imagine that you found four shells while walking on the beach. I found two and decided to give them to you. How many do you
have altogether?”

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