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Feature Friday ~ The Kindergarten Press

Hello, all! I am Carlee Van Ness from The Kindergarten Press. Today I want to share with you some fun and effective strategies I use to teach addition!

I have seen on other blogs that many kindergarten teachers begin teaching addition much earlier in the year. However, at my school, we use the Common Core aligned EnVision Math series (which I LOVE,) and we usually begin addition in January right when we return from winter break.

Along with the interactive videos and work pages that come with our math series, here are some manipulative activities I do to help my kids grasp the concept of addition:

1. Part-Part-Whole

I begin teaching addition with Part-Part-Whole activities using unifix cubes and styrofoam plates broken into two small sections and one big section. The kids really begin to grasp the concept of addition when we take two small groups of unifix cubes (the parts) and then bring them together to make one larger group (the whole.) Once they are able to do this pretty fluently, I begin with a whole group and have them break it into smaller parts so they can see that there is more than one way to get a sum (i.e. 3+2=5; 1+4=5; 5+0=5.)

2. Magnetic Ten Frame Paddles

This year, my school purchased magnetic ten frame paddles and counters for our students through our Title I grant! They are SOOOO fabulous! These are definitely my favorite addition resource. I begin using these by telling the students story problems and having them solve the problems using the ten frames. This activity helps them to visualize the number sentence even before they learn how to write it. I love that they can see the whole number sentence right in front of them simply by looking at the ten frame! I believe our Title I Director purchased ours through EAI Education, but they are also available on Amazon. 

Before we purchased the magnetic paddles, I did things the old school way using ten frames I made myself and laminated along with foam counters. 

3. Writing Number Sentences on Whiteboards

Once the kids have the process of addition down, we move on to writing number sentences on whiteboards as we solve problems using our ten frames. It is so exciting to me to see their little minds figure out such a complex concept!

4. Number Lines

The last addition activity I introduce (which we haven't gotten to yet this year) is Number Line Addition. I give each child a 0-10 number line, and they solve addition story problems by moving a bear manipulative along the number line. They really love this activity, and eventually they use the number lines to solve addition problems using dominoes as math centers!

I hope you find some of these addition teaching strategies useful! If you'd like to see more of what goes on in my classroom, please head on over to my blog or follow me on instagram

Happy Teaching,


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