Monday, May 6, 2019

Teaching Simple Addition – Sample lesson activities

This skill is usually learned in early elementary school grades. There may be older students with disabilities who still may need to learn this foundational skill. I believe foundational skills always need to be taught starting with concrete examples before moving to abstract examples.

Explain what the students will be learning and why do they need to learn this skill? There are many real-life situations that we will use addition all of our life.

Place value:
This is important and should be understood before you can teach regrouping.
I use a variety of beans or colored plastic chips and  I always use different beans or different colors to represent the different place values. I also make a chart showing the “key” for each value for the beans. It is important to be consistent when doing this and use the same beans/colors and values each day. You shouldn’t change these for each lesson, or it will become very confusing to the learner. Other manipulatives you can use are unifix cubes or place value blocks. 

Give students an assortment of the same type of beans or colored chips. Have them group items in groups of tens and then left-over amounts to the side. Have them write down the number that they have according to their place value (How many tens? How many ones?) What is the total number that they have?) Do this with several examples until everyone is able to do this accurately.

Simple addition without regrouping:
Once the learner understands place value, they are ready to do simple addition without regrouping. I would write a number on the board and have the students show this using their manipulatives. Then I would add a smaller number that will not require regrouping and have them add that amount to the manipulatives they already have. Once they do that, Have them count the total and give the answer. Several examples of this type should be given.

Simple addition with regrouping:
Once the students are able to use the manipulatives to add without regrouping, they are ready to add with regrouping. Write a number on the board and have the students represent that number with the correct manipulatives (beans or chips). Give another number and have them represent that number with the correct manipulatives (beans or chips). Now tell them add them together. Explain that they might have to trade some for a different bean or chip.

Let them get with a partner to see if they end up with the same answer. If they come up with different answers, have each one start over and show their partner how they came up with that answer. The partner may question them if they feel it is not being done correctly. If they can’t agree on the process, they need to raise their hand and ask for help.

Do this activity several times with different numbers.
Once everyone is getting the correct answer with a partner, have students work on their own with sets of numbers written on the board. The teacher will go around the room and check their answers. If anyone has the wrong answer and needs to recheck their work, the teacher will point this out at this time.

When everyone has gotten all of the correct answers, have the class applaud themselves.

What other activities do you use to teach simple addition? Please share.

Photo by Crissy Jarvis on Unsplash

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