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Monday, September 21, 2015

Making Addition Fun

My first graders have been working hard at learning how to add over the past couple of weeks.  We are only working with sums to 6 in this unit, but we are putting lots of work into this concept.
And I have been working hard to make addition fun!

 Here are some easy ways to make learning addition pleasant for your students:

1. Use Toys 

I gave each student a box of fun objects to use as counters.  There were pictures of candy, shapes, toy animals, fuzzy pom-poms, popsicle sticks, and lots of other items.  I would tell them how many of each thing to get out, and then they would write the addition equation and answer on their paper.  {Of course, for the first day I was writing the problem and answer on the board as well.}  I had fun switching out the items in the boxes to make it a little new everyday.

2.  Use Clipboards

I don't know about your students, but my kiddos were so excited to use my clipboards for the first time!  I think that was their favorite part of school on this day.  I heard one of them tell a friend at recess, "We got to use those boards today!"  We were still just using objects to add and write addition sentences, but simply using the clipboards made it so much more fun!

3.  Tell Stories

Once my kiddos had grasped the concept of putting objects together to get a new number, I started telling stories as they got out the correct number of objects.  They still had to find the objects and write a number sentence, but now I was telling them a story first.  {This also introduces them to the idea of story problems.}
Once they understood that a story could be a math problem, I let them take turns telling their own story.  Their classmates had to listen for the two numbers and write the correct number sentence.  They loved getting to tell their own story problem. After all, what 1st grader doesn't love to tell stories?

My kiddos also colored, worked with Unifix cubes, and wrote number sentences on the white board.  I thought about using candy, but I think I might save that for subtraction.  {I can't use all my fun ideas in one unit, right?}  Do you have any other fun ideas for teaching addition or subtraction?  Leave me a message in the comments - I would love to hear them!

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