I love teaching addition in the younger grades. After we have built a strong number sense, we start with simple addition using manipulatives. We use buttons, cubes, gameboard pieces, etc. Basically anything we can get our hands on. Developmentally, I believe this is exactly what my first graders need to learn addition.
They need to see it.
I want all those things before we practice quick math facts and math strategies. Once they can show me an addition sentence and find the sum, we move onto different addition strategies. Last year, I created a subtraction unit that we used and loved [see post here] Naturally, I wanted to make a similar addition one. The same set-up, but with addition facts (up to 20) and addition strategies.
Take a look below to see some of the activities that are included:
Add it up! This hands-on activity is where we start. We use different colored cubes or game pieces to build and add and find the sum. Most of the cards only use two colors (2 addends), but I made some with 3 to get us familiar with adding three numbers together at the same time.
Add and Color! This was one my students FAVORITE games in the subtraction unit, so it was an easy choice to make the same game, but for addition.
Some fun anchor charts:
Click the image below to check out What's the Sum? in my store and see if it works for you an your students.