In our Number Sense math strand we just finished up a brief introduction to the concept of addition. This unit focused primarily on printing numerals and number words, and one-to-one counting, but I like to incorporate some early addition towards the end just as a precursor to a more solid unit later on. The skills we learned here will help us when we actually dive in and begin our "official" addition and subtraction math unit in December.

To start, I have the kiddies work through my Shake and Spill pack. Without explicitly saying that this is addition, this helped us to understand that there are many ways to build a number. Plus Shake and Spill is always a hit!

*(To play, you put the select number of double-sided counters in a cup. Shake and spill the counters on the table to see one way of building the number. Record your findings and repeat!)*
We did Shake and Spill for the number 5 all together, then the kiddies worked away on building numbers 6 through 10 in partners.

*Click HERE for my differentiated Shake and Spill worksheet pack (I also have one worksheet for Shake and Spill 10 available for FREE for you to try out...click HERE for the freebie!)*

After each page, we got together on the carpet to discuss all the ways the kids found they could build the selected number. For the first few, I arranged all of the ways so that they were in order from 0 to __

*(i.e. the ways to build 5 would start with "0 and 5," then "1 and 4," then "2 and 3," and so on)*. Soon my little smarties picked up on the pattern and we were able to come up with all the ways to build each number without using our Shake and Spill worksheets or counters:
We then talked about how we could turn phrases like "4 and 1 makes 5" into an addition fact. I drew the "+" and "=" symbols on the board and we discussed what they represent. We learned that + also means "and" and = shows that what is on one side of this symbol is the same or EQUAL to what is on the other side of the symbol

*(last year my firsties would often confuse "=" and "-" once I had introduced subtraction, so I use the trick that the first line in the "equal" symbol is a reminder that tells you to look at the left side of the equation and the other line tells you to look at the right side to check that both sides are the same)*.
We then used what we learned about the Shake and Spill patterns, and our new knowledge of addition facts and symbols, to write all of the addition facts for 5 through 10 on an anchor chart. At the beginning we used the SMARTboard pages we created

*(see above)*to help us remember each fact, but we quickly were able to use the pattern we saw to write the rest of the facts on our own.**FYI: You can see that I have the "inverse facts" concepts begun on this anchor chart. I was originally going to introduce this now but just decided to leave it at that and save inverse facts for when we begin our addition and subtraction unit later on. So stay tuned!**

The kids were pumped at how many addition facts they knew just from completing our Shake and Spill activity and from following the patterns we found. This anchor chart will now live on our math board and come in handy for our unit in December.

What are some of the tips and tricks you find helpful when introducing addition?

*(or subtraction!)*
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