1st Grade Subtraction Within 20 Firefighter Safety Awareness Resource

Elementary school children struggle learning math. When kids focus on rote memorization of math facts, they don’t develop the ability to think critically, a necessary skill to learning math. But when kids are engaged in solving problems, they are developing the skills to reason, which in turn helps them to figure out how to do math. You can help them to understand the concepts of math by using active lessons involving simple subtraction equations.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A chef, a dancer....a firefighter! We all have memories of being that kid who wanted desperately to ride in the big, red fire engine truck. Firefighters were our heroes and still are. Day in and day out, they come to our aid whenever we call. And every October, National Fire Prevention Week gives educators a chance to remind students about the role these important members of our community play in keeping us safe.

Learning about how to escape safely in the event of a fire emergency is valuable information for living a happy and healthy life, no matter your age. Our youngest among the population can be part of the biggest risks for fire emergencies. Kids are around potential hazards throughout the year: candles burning in the winter, a malfunctioning toaster, a friend playing with matches, lightning strikes during a thunderstorm, dad’s cigarette burning in the ashtray, fireworks in the backyard over the summer, or hot ashes from the wood stove, to name a few. Educating kids about the causes of unsafe situations involving fire can prove to be one of the most important lessons you’ll ever teach your students. And there are ways to build lessons around this necessary information.

Remember, knowledge can save lives. So invite your local fire station firefighters into your classroom to speak. Promote family conversations about fire safety plans with homework associated with firefighters. Your classroom activities can make the firefighter a symbol of safety, knowledge, and confidence. When you incorporate the firefighter into your math lessons for instance, you’re adding to that child’s feelings of safety, knowledge, and confidence around math, by association.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate lessons of fire safety into your existing curriculum. Math is one of them. Perhaps you’re teaching children about immigration, the turn-of-the-century time period, or American history. Discuss the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It was this October 9th disaster that led to the creation of National Fire Prevention Week every October. In 1911, the Fire Marshals around the country wanted to commemorate this tragic event with greater education about fire safety. At their urging, President Woodrow Wilson, in 1920, issued the first National Fire Prevention Day Proclamation. By 1922, for the Sunday through Saturday in the month of October that passes through October 9th, fire prevention was celebrated and Fire Prevention Week was born.

Do your part to spread the word about fire safety and boost kids’ interest and confidence in doing math with a subtraction within 20 activity for use in 1st grade classrooms or wherever lessons surrounding subtraction within 20 are needed. Numbers are abstract concepts and take time to form in a child’s mind as having intrinsic value. The symbols used in mathematical equations are abstract as well. Their meaning can be elusive to younger elementary kids, especially since they alter when used in different contexts. Is it a dash or a minus sign? But a simple activity involving subtraction and firefighters can help promote greater understanding.

Through Teachers Pay Teachers, you can download Subtracting Within 20 Interactive PowerPoint that allows kids to practice subtraction within 20. This activity has fun sound effects and displays kids dressed as firefighters to help promote discussion about fire safety and fire prevention. It’s even self-correcting. Small change will get you a math lesson activity that can be used over and over again in your quest to teach kids math. Don’t let subtraction within 20 leave the kids in your classroom confused. Build math problem-solving skills and promote fire safety with this activity that can allow you to keep a tally of correct answers. Immediate feedback will have your kids yearning to take part, solve a problem, and hear the applause for their correct answers. Have fun while learning and learn while having fun with these friendly firefighters and their subtraction within 20 math equations.

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