Thursday, June 13, 2013

Subtraction (Negative) Snake Game


Me Too has been working on the subtraction snake game (occasionally called negative snake game, but should not be confused with the ELEMENTARY negative snake game) this week.  He thinks it is really silly that the snake shrinks.

I found presentations for this work in my Montessori by Hand Primary album and in my Montessori Research and Development lower elementary math album.  However, this is one of those situations where a video is much easier to understand.  I watched a video over at Montessori Live and am following most of their presentation format.

What I like about the Montessori Live presentation is that you don't count with a tab to find ten.  You pull forward two or more bead bars at a time to create an equation.  If the child has been using the colored bead bars since they learned teens and tens and through the chains work they will be very quick at identifying quantity by color.  In this way they use their addition math facts to do practical work.  At this stage we are counting backward one bead at a time when we reach a grey bar to do the subtraction or overlapping the negative bead bar onto the addend bars.  When we play this game again at the end of the subtraction memorization sequence Me Too will be able to do that step without counting backward.

Note:  This post was slightly edited to clarify terminology.

10 comments:

  1. I love his pose in this photo!


    You have a variety of albums - and it seems like we did something like this before - was it on this topic? ;)

    It would be interesting to see what this work is called in each of the albums you have. I say that because in the AMI elementary albums the "negative" snake game actually has red and white bars in addition to everything in the subtraction snake game - and is one step beyond the subtraction snake game. But I know some albums call the subtraction snake game "negative snake game" and then people tell me their children did the elementary work when they were 5 ;) My tongue is tied saying all of that "snake game" and I'm only typing it ;) I try hard not to remember how confused I was when I first tried to figure out all the titles myself (before training!), but it would sure be handy to have some of the comparisons in one place :)

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  2. Love this work! I was thinking the same thing that Jessica was commenting about. It gets a bit confusing at times, but when I see it I get it. Like always I learn something new every time I visit. Your comment section often leads me on little rabbit trails:)

    Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I just added a Montessori Nugget on the topic - leaving it open to modification ;)

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  3. Jessica,

    I did post on position of snake games in the memorization sequences in general back when Kal-El started the subtraction snake game. I compared two styles of addition snake games in that post and made video: http://whatdidwedoallday.blogspot.com/2013/02/snake-games-and-i-made-demonstration.html

    Talk about confusing terminology, last week someone asked me if I new where to find presentations for the "subtraction and Elementary Negative Addition stamp games." That's a mouthful.

    Most of my albums call it the "subtraction snake game." However, the online Shu-Chen albums call it the "negative snake game." The Mid-America albums call the addition snake game the "positive snake game." They talk about the terminology in the introduction to the "subtraction snake game."

    From Mid-America: "Introduction: Subtraction snake game is different that the original negative snake game, which indirectly prepares and eventually teaches the concept of "negative numbers" or integers. The direct aim of subtraction snake game is aid in the memorization of subtraction facts with differences above zero. The concept of numbers below zero is not yet introduced so the term of 'negative' (which was the original lesson title) is changed to subtraction."

    I call it the subtraction snake game with the boys and only used both terms because I see it called both things in many places...I think the materials suppliers are more inconsistent than the albums. However, most albums put the word "ELEMENTARY" highly emphasized in front of "negative snake game" to make it clear when they are talking about the game with the red and white beads. I've also seen people call it the ELEMENTARY subtraction snake game in that version.

    I should have reversed the words in and out of my parenthesis for this post.

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    1. I saw that comment about the "stamp game" - it sent me searching to see if someone somewhere had done such a thing. I think it was just a typo - there's a lot of math materials ;)

      I think you are right that the material suppliers are the most inconsistent. Most of them don't even know how the materials work or what they are supposed to do beyond the product description (ask me how I know ;) I am STILL trying to figure out a couple of unusual materials.).

      I like that description from Mid-America - that seems to explain perhaps the true historical development of the names.

      Thank you for sharing what you know! We're going to start calling you the Album Guru ;)

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    2. I think the "stamp" part was a typo, but did you notice they called it "negative addition" as well? We managed to get the words subtraction, negative, addition, elementary, snake AND stamp in one product description. Adena will probably try manufacturing one next, LOL! Then we can all post on the groups "I see manufacturers selling a elementary subtraction negative addition stamp game, does anyone know what this is used for? Does anyone have a presentation for this?"

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    3. haha! I did notice that - there's even the word game in there too ;)

      And I would definitely be the one asking "anyone figure this out yet?" ;)

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  4. Would love to see a video on this one, similar to the last video you did (hint hint) :) Thanks for sharing this information on the negative (subtraction) snake game. What is the difference in the subtraction snake game for primary and the negative snake game for elementary, or is that a little hard to explain?

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    1. Amy - I posted a short blip here describing the various snake games:

      http://montessorinuggets.blogspot.com/2013/06/montessori-snake-games.html

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    2. Thanks Jessica!!! I am going to check this out right away!

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