Math Access for Teachers and Home Child Care Providers

Groovy Buttons

Children will read the book Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons and as the cat loses buttons from his shirt, the children will count down from 4 to 0.

Content Area Standard Target
• Number and Operations
• Algebra
• Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another
• Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates
• Analyze change in various contexts
• Understands the effects of adding and subtracting whole numbers
• Use a variety of methods, and tools to compute, including objects, mental computation, estimation, paper and pencil, and calculators
• Develop and use strategies for adding and subtracting
• Describe quantitative change, such as student's growing two inches
Obtain the Materials

• The book, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean
• Multi-colored, round dot stickers
• Round 3/4" Diameter See-Through Labels, Assorted Colors
• Yellow paper shirts

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Introduce the Activity

1. Ask the children if they know Pete the Cat.  (Pete the Cat is a popular children’s book series complete with a lot of merchandise that accompanies the books)
2. Explain that today you will all read, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy ButtonsSay: “Pete the Cat has four buttons on his shirt, so we all are going to have four buttons on our shirts.”  Have the children put four dot stickers on their shirts.  Say: "You can put four dots on each circle to make each circle look more like a button. Put four dot stickers on your shirt as well."

Engage the Children

1. Read the story, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. As you read the story and Pete looses a button, have the children take one of the sticker buttons off of their own shirt and put it onto their yellow paper shirt. Have them count how many buttons they have left on their own shirt to go along with how many buttons Pete has left on his own shirt.
2. The book will ask, “How many buttons are left?” each time Pete looses a button.  Before you turn the page, have the children tell you how many buttons are left on Pete’s shirt.  The next page has the answer as well as a number sentence.  Have the children repeat in unison the number sentences given.
3. After each button pops off, there is a song that Pete sings.  To download and teach the children the song go to the following link: http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/feature/petethecat/
4. Continue until all of the buttons are off of their shirts and onto their yellow paper shirts.  They can use these paper shirts to re-tell the story to a friend or family member.

Extend the Activity

• Create a little book with the subtraction equations from the book. Each time that Pete looses a button and you read the number sentence in the book, have the children write down the number answer to the equation in their book.
• After you count down from 4 to 0, count back up. Read the book, backwards. Pete has no more buttons on his shirt but then his Mom sews a button back on his shirt.  How many buttons does Pete have on his shirt now?  1.  0 + 1 = 1.  You can also use the yellow shirts and stickers to have the children count the buttons that Pete’s mom sews back onto his shirt.

Encourage Vocabulary

• How many – The total or sum (e.g., "How many buttons are left on Pete’s shirt?")

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Supporting Children at Different Levels

Toddlers   Pre-K

Toddlers may:

• Need help with one-to-one correspondence.

Pre-K Children may:

• Easily manipulate numbers 1 through 4.
• Need help understanding the reciprocal relationship between subtraction and addition.

Home child care providers may:

• Help the child count the number of buttons remaining on the shirt after a button pops off. And then, help the child count the buttons/stickers on their yellow sheet.

Home child care providers may:

• Create a little book with the subtraction equations from the book.  Each time that Pete loses a button and you read the number sentence in the book, have the children write down the number answer to the equation in their book.
• After you count down from 4 to 0, count back up.  Read the book, backwards.  Pete has no more buttons on his shirt but then his Mom sews a button back on his shirt.  How many buttons does Pete have on his shirt now?  1.  0 + 1 = 1.  You can also use the yellow shirts and stickers to have the children count the buttons that Pete’s mom sews back onto his shirt.

Books

• Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean (New York: Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2012)

Music and Movement

Outdoor Connections

• Play a game of Hide and Seek.  Count the number of children they are in the class.  As each child is found, create a number sentence that illustrates the number of children hidden and the number of children found.  You can even make up a song similar to the one that Pete the cat sings when he loses a button.

Web Resources

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