I got the inspiration for this project from a tutorial on Instructables to make paper superheroes for math facts. The superheroes had a problem on their belly and you could pull their cape out to see the solution. The project was a bit advanced for LittleMan, so I decided to make my own version. We just happen to be doing a robot theme week so we made math fact robots.
I started the night before by making a template for our robots. I envisioned something similar to Futurama’s Bender, with a door on the abdomen that could be opened to find the solution to the problem. I also wanted them to be easy to cut since I was going to be cutting quite a few of them.
Once I had my template the way I wanted it, I traced it onto sheets of construction paper and got to cutting a large stack of them for LittleMan.
This was how I presented the activity to LittleMan.
The robots pre-cut in a bowl, the abdominal doors pre-cut in another bowl, some colored pencils, a glue stick, a 12-sided die, a bowl of counting beans, and his addition work tray (aka a divided plate).
He rolled the die to give us the first number, which I wrote onto the robot while he counted that many beans into the first square of the plate, then he rolled the die to give us the second number, which I again wrote onto the robot while he counted that many beans into the second square of the plate.
He then counted up all the beans moving them one by one to the larger rectangle on the plate, which gave him the answer to the problem. Once he announced the answer, I wrote it inside the abdominal door of the robot.
After we knew the answer, LittleMan would color on the robot with the colored pencils.
He sometimes tried to write the answer to the problem on the front of the abdominal door, other times he drew a face or some arm “tattoos” onto the robot.
He tends to be rough on his pencils so I always supply a pencil sharpener. We rarely get through a project like this without needing it.
For more math activities and lesson ideas check out our Math Pinterest Board!
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