When young children have had many opportunities to play with 5 and 10 Frames and can visualize (through subitizing) small groups of numbers, we can begin to offer opportunities to play with and explore the concept of Part + Part = Whole.

## Composing Numbers and Number Bonds

Number bonds are the relationships between any number and the parts that make that number. The basic concept of a whole number being made up by parts is central to addition; if children can see the parts, then they can add the parts together to make the whole. Similarly, by taking away (subtracting) one of the parts from the whole, the children can find the missing part.

## Paper Plate Activity:

Materials needed: One paper plate per craft, Wikki Stix, scissors, and pony beads.

Invite the children to make 3 sections on their paper plate by placing one Wikki Stix (horizontally) across the center of a paper plate. The children should cut another Wikki Stix in half to make a vertical line (from the top of the paper plate down the middle – see photo above).

Invite your children to count out two sets of pony beads (the sets should initially include lower numbers) and place the sets inside the two sections at the top of the paper plate. When added together, those two parts will make up a whole. Have the children add the two sections to find what number card should be placed in the bottom section of the paper plate (WHOLE).

The children can create the number sentence or the individual numbers with Wikki Stix and place inside the appropriate sections of the paper plate. The extra tactile layer provided by the Wikki Stix will enhance early math retention!

As children gain skills in adding the parts to find the whole, help the children understand the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction by creating one number in the WHOLE section of a paper plate and another number in just one of the top sections. The children can then use pony beads in each section to find the PART that is missing (subtraction).
Decomposing Numbers into Parts