Part, Part, Whole – how numbers can be broken down in to parts

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Recently we spent some time exploring the concept of part, part, whole.  A number can be broken into parts, which can then be added back together again to make the whole.  For example, 2 + 4 (parts) = 6 (whole).

We played a card game where we drew two cards and held one to our forehead without looking.  Our partner could see both cards, but we could only see one.  The partner would tell us what the two cards added to, and we’d have to work out what the card was that we couldn’t see.

Then we made part, part, whole butterflies, where we started with 3 numbers and we had to write the 4 number sentences that could go with the numbers.  For example, if the numbers were 4, 7, 11 we could say 4 + 7 = 11; 7 + 4 = 11; 11- 7 = 4; 11 – 4 = 7.  We needed to know what of the numbers was the whole and which were the parts.


We even looked at how shapes can be broken into parts.  That was fun!

Can you add some part, part, whole number sentences in the comments?


  • Xintong
    June 11, 2017 - 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mrs Wolfenden
    I love the part part whole and it’s fun.
    From Xintong.

  • Michael
    June 23, 2017 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mrs W
    I love the part part Whole.
    from Michael

  • Mini
    June 27, 2017 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mrs W
    I like the cards Annika and I used.

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