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a tens frame on a table with a play-doh ball in 6 of the squares. a student's finger crushing one of the play-doh balls

Playdoh Smash

Learning Goals: Number Sense, Subtraction, Fine Motor Development

    • With a small group at a table, model how to play Playdoh Smash and use playdoh to help you solve subtraction problems!
    • Either say a subtraction statement aloud or have a student flip over a subtraction card. 
    • Using playdoh, make balls corresponding to the first number in the subtraction statement (ex. you would make 4 balls if the subtraction statement was 4 - 2 =_ ) 
      • Optional: Have students place playdoh balls on 10s Frame and/or write down the subtraction statement. 
    • Next, look at the second number in the statement and that is how many balls you get to smash down! Count aloud when you smash. 
    • Count the number of playdoh balls not smashed and that is your answer! 
    • Encourage students to repeat the activity with each subtraction card they flip over! 
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