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Your Kids Aren’t Learning Their Addition Facts? Try This…Part 6

If you have been following the previous posts, then you will see the progression of teaching number facts strategies.  Nearly the last part of teaching addition facts focuses around doubles and doubles plus 2.  I think this is one of the hardest strategies because kids may not readily see the double when it is two numbers away. With a little thinking and prodding, however, they will see the fact without using their fingers.  Line the numbers up side by side so that students can see examples of both sets of numbers–the helping fact and the double plus 2.


Again, when having students recognize patterns and see relationships, I like to write them out of order so that students don’t say that the numbers are counting by 2′s etc.  If students struggle to see the patterns, underline numbers to help them focus on what you want them to see such as underlining the second addends on both sets of equations.  Then underline the sums on both sets of equations.  Step back for a few moments and let the prolonged silence aid students in thinking about the relationships in the two sets of numbers.  Give students time enough to generalize about how doubles can be a helping fact.  * Note that students have already learned sums of 10 and 10s plus 2 more so they have strategies for 5+7, 4+6, and 6+8.

After this, students only have a few more facts to learn!!

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Thank you Erin Cobb!  Frames Courtesy of Lovin Lit.

Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale!!

Did someone say sale?  Why yes they did.  There will be a Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale this week.  Stock up and get all the items you have been wanting on your wish list and MORE!!  All the items in my store will be on sale.  Code and link below.  sale_300_250

You’re Kids Aren’t Learning Their Addition Facts? Try This…Part 5


(Thank you Erin Cobb from Lovin’ Lit for the pretty border!)

Now after I have taught everything that I previously blogged about in Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, which includes tens and tens plus one.  Learning the sums/bonds of 10 is the foundation for this discussion.  One of the tens plus 2 will already have been learned because it is a double, but there is no harm in learning multiple strategies to reach one fact.  Also, doubles plus two facts will be learned later and doubles plus two will also give students a strategy to reach 7+5=12 and 5+7=12.  Allow students to recognize this on their own when you reach that lesson.  The more ownership students can have of the strategies without you telling it to them, the more they will remember the strategies and feel smarter for being able to discuss the strategies.

Again when you introduce these facts write them out of order on the board.  Step back, wait, have children quietly look at the number facts and find relationships or patterns in their head.  I use the Number Talks strategy and have them put their thumb on their chest when they find a pattern.  This keeps everyone attentively looking for more patterns without the dramatic hand raisers flailing their arms in the air.  If students say that they see lots of tens and twelves acknowledge this and then ask students to look for more.  Eventually you will get what you are looking for if you have the foundation built from the previous lessons.  If no students say that one of the addends goes up by 2 and the sum goes up by two, offer a hint by underlining these numbers so that they are focusing their attention there.  Follow this up by fact (flashcards if you prefer) practice over the sums they have just discovered a strategy for and over previously learned facts.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Your Kids Aren’t Learning Their Addition Facts? Try This…Part 4

So far if you have followed my previous posts, students will have learned their bonds of 10, their +1, +2, +9, +10, and adding one more to their bonds of 10 facts.  Next, I like to focus my students’ attention on learning their doubles.  Most of the time students are already comfortable with their doubles up to 5+5 since they easily see these doubles on their fingers, on dice, and in other real world examples.  At least when working with my intervention groups, this is the case.  The doubles kids most often struggle with are 7+7, 8+8, and 9+9.   When writing the doubles on the board, kids can easily see that the sums of double numbers turn out to be even numbers or the numbers that count by 2′s.

Slide1 I also like to use videos and games to help kids remember their doubles.  Here is one of the videos that I like to use.

This is only a preview of the video.  The other part used to be free but is no longer free.  The video costs $2.49 to download the 6-10 doubles, but is worth the purchase in my opinion.

After kids have learned their doubles, show them these doubles plus one more.  Don’t tell them that they are doubles plus one more, but let them see the pattern and tell you about them.


 Allow the kids to notice the pattern in the doubles and doubles plus one and express to you how the numbers change when one is added.  Kids will excitedly see the relationship between the double and how it goes up by one more.  After discussing the patterns from the previous posts, students will more readily see this pattern and relationship.  Then when using flashcards to follow up, students will sometimes think out loud about their strategy, and you will hear them thinking about the relationships they see to get to a new sum.  When you hear this you know you have taught them well!

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Your Kids Aren’t Learning Their Addition Facts ? Try This…(Part 3)

Up to this point if you have been following my previous posts and tried them with your students, you’re students will have learned their bonds of 10, +1 facts, +2 facts, +9 facts, and +10  facts.  Now it is time to build on some of that foundational material that you have been working on with your students.  With consistent review of what they have already learned students will be ready to move on to using their bonds of ten to find other sums.  While allowing them to sit and think, show students these facts side by side and allow them to comment after a few minutes on what they notice.  I like to use the Number Talks idea and have students sit and think for a while and when they notice something in the patterns to then respond with a thumbs up on their chest.  This allows the other students to think without the over zealous arms dancing in the air with the correct answer.  Here even if students say something that isn’t quite what you are looking for, don’t discourage their contributions.  For example, if someone says that they all have 11′s respond by agreeing but asking for something more.  You might ask, how are the facts on the left like the ones on the right?  What are the only numbers changing?  How much are they changing by?  Only ask these questions if you don’t get much response initially.  Allow students time to think and study what you have written. Slide1

You may also like these earlier  posts about learning addition facts:



*Thank you Erin Cobb: Frames courtesy of Lovin’Lit.

Your Kids Aren’t Learning Addition Facts? Try This…(Part 2)

So, once the kids have learned the initial easy facts like I posted about before (+1, +10, and +9), I focus on getting them to learn their bonds of ten.  Now since we had already learned the +1 and +9 facts, I focus on these foundational facts to help us build other facts later on.  Most often kids know that 5 +5 makes 10 because they have 5 fingers on one hand and 5 fingers on the other hand to make 10 fingers.  After we talk about these, I make them practice these other three facts over and over (4+6, 3 +7, and 2+8) by writing them and saying them.  I don’t let them participate in any other activities in my group time until they can tell me these three facts that make ten.


I give them these facts to practice for homework as well before we use them as a foundation for anything else because I want them to be solid in this.

Then I leave the bonds of ten facts for a little while to practice the +2 facts.  These are easy.  All the while we are recalling what makes 10 often (in review) to keep these facts fresh in their mind.  After the kids see the number facts with the answers that are adding 2, I ask the students how they can always find the answer to a +2 fact easily.  Sometimes I write the +1 facts right beside the +2 facts to prompt their thinking.  Eventually they tell me that you just count 2 more numbers to get the sum/answer.

Slide1 More to come…

*Thank you Erin Cobb: Frames courtesy of Lovin’Lit.

Free Fraction Cards for Tonight Only!!!

I just finished these fraction cards per request to go with a Decimal Wall Number Line I have in my TPT store.  The cards include halves, fourths, thirds, fifths, sixths, eighths, tenths, and hundredths.  They are free for tonight only.  They are pointy so that they can precisely point to a number on the Decimal Number Line.  Just click the picture to be taken to the freebie.

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Below is a sample of the Decimal Number Line that I made the cards to match…

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Fall Giveaways!!!

Fall Favorites Giveaways from today until October 11th!!!

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Your Kids Aren’t Learning Addition Facts? Try This…

I have taken on teaching some third graders addition facts as an intervention.  When intervening with kids in any type of math, I never assume too much.  I start at the very bottom and work up.

Once I went to a  math professional development and the trainer was Melissa Conklin from Math Solutions.  She said one thing that has stuck with me.  Kids who are good at math see patterns.  If this is the case, then why don’t we present math in a way that kids can see patterns?  But usually when we teach addition facts, it begins like this.  Learn all your 1′s, then 2′s, then 3′s, then 4′s, then 5′s and so on.  Kids see the number facts usually presented in order.  There is no chance to think about the sums and why they turn out the way they do.  So, I challenge you to begin teaching your students their addition facts like this…

Have students look at patterns in their ones.  Don’t place them in order.  Go ahead and answer the problems so the conversation isn’t about finding the answers.


Now before I present something like this on the board, I leave it there and make the kids sit quietly to find any patterns they might see.  This shouldn’t take long, but you never know if kids aren’t seeing this simple fact.  Interestingly enough, usually the students with lower test scores on state tests do not see the patterns readily.  I must underline certain things after a while if I don’t get the feedback I am looking for.  For example, if students don’t see the ones pattern above, I underline the addend added to 1 and the sum…I would underline the 6 and 7, the 8 and 9, the 3 and 4, and so on.  Hopefully your students will say that when they add 1 that they are just counting up to the next number.  I follow up with flashcards of adding ones in my group of five or six students.

Next, move onward to 10′s because there is a similar pattern that you hope children will see.  Depending on your students, show them the 10′s pattern and let the kids observe for a few minutes, sit, and wait.  I have the kids put their thumb on their chest like they do in the Number Talks videos.  This lets me know they have found a pattern without them raising their hand distracting their neighbors who may still be thinking.  Remember, write the equations out of order and write the sums.


After writing these on the board, lower students will say that they see 10′s in all of them.  I ask for any other thoughts.  Then someone will say that they see the one in front of the number that is being added to the 10.  I ask for clarification and a student comes to the board to point a finger at the 1 in front of the sums.  I further still get clarification about the one asking if this is really a one or one group of……oh! ten!  Most have no difficulty after seeing the pattern.

Next, I bring out some of the hardest facts that students shudder at….dah…dah..dum(in suspense)–THE NINES!!! eeeeeek!  But if you know a pattern are the nines really that hard?  NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Slide1

When you place the numbers on the board write them like above where you pair the ten helping fact with the nine fact.  Then allow kids to discuss what patterns they see.  They will see a pattern that works for them.  Underline the sums of the 10′s and 9′s facts to help students recognize that the nine’s facts are one less than the 10′s facts.  Students will use this strategy and maybe others when you use flash cards to help them become fluent.

That is all I have gotten to for now…more addition strategies to come.

*Thank you Erin Cobb: Frames courtesy of Lovin’Lit.

A Back to School Story & Win a Giveaway!

A little back to school story and then I will give you info about the giveaway.  I must say I am not typically an emotional eater, however this first three weeks back to school has led me to eat almost an entire container of Haagen Dazs Caramel and Cone ice cream in one sitting.  Our school consolidated with another, and we moved into a new building.  I have sorted and unpacked 50+ boxes of books and math manipulatives that were stacked as high as a human tower of Jenga.  The space that I now have is about 1/6 of the size of the space that I moved from.  We have some new staff members, completely new principals, and I have a new job description (but the same title).  This has been a lot to take in.

One of the things I have found solace in besides ice cream is the familiar children’s faces, and the not so familiar faces, too.  I spend most of my mornings before school begins trying to learn students’ names in the gym.  One particular morning after asking for a name, I met “Darius”.  He was a large 4th grade boy with smiling eyes.  He had on a red polo shirt.

I saw him later in the hallway and he said, “Do you remember my name?”

I thought for a moment and said, “Darius?”

He smiled and nodded.  I told him he had to keep wearing a red shirt, so I could continue to remember his name.  The next day I saw him sitting and eating breakfast.  This time he had on a navy blue shirt.

I smiled and said, “Darius.”

Then I inquired, ” So what do I get?  I remembered your name and you didn’t even have a red shirt on.”

He thought a moment and said with wide outstretched arms, “A hug?”

I said with a chuckle, “I’ll take it!”

Sometimes all it takes is a caring soul to make your day :) !

Now about the giveaway!!!

Take a visit to the following link to win a giveaway.  The giveaway will last until midnight Tuesday, and the winners will be announced Thursday in the Tech Thursday link.  Just click the picture below to register to win.