Welcome back all! Today I thought I would share a few ideas for exploring addition in a hands on way. I have played various versions of each of these activities with my students, both in Grade 1 and Prep, and they have all enjoyed them. I have tried to choose games which can be very easily manipulated, and which require very little prep work from you. All of these can be played at both a whole class and a small group level, depending on what your focus is.
If this game looks familiar, it probably does! This activity is just a tweaked version of my Apple Tree counting game which I shared in my first post about 'Number Sense Warm Ups'.
There are 2 ways to play this game, both requiring the same set-up. All you need are 2 Cardboard cut-out trees, paper plate numbers to 10 (or beyond), whiteboards and markers, and scrunched up red and green paper for the apples. Have the students help you place the number plates in order to form a numberline, and scatter the apples around the trees.
Game #1: Scatter both red and green apples between the trees. If you are focusing on count-ons, try putting out only 4 or 5 red and 10 or more green. In most cases, this will help the students collect count-on facts to solve. Invite 2 students to collect as many apples as possible and place them on their trees. After the students have filled their trees, they will count up the number of each colour and write the addition on a whiteboard. This is a good opportunity to discuss how to write the larger number first. The students solve their additions and stand by their number. The class can then compare who has the greatest number of apples.
Game # 2: Scatter only one color of apples between the trees. Again invite the students to collect as many as they can to fill their trees. Collaboratively write the addition sum on a whiteboard and solve together as a class.
Again, this game is a twist on a fishing game I have already shared in my 'Number Sense Warm Up' post. Set up 2 'ponds' using hula hoops and fill with magnetic fish - I just added paperclips to some cardboard ones. Invite 2 students up to go fishing. To make this even more fun I chose 2 of our class teddies who the students would be helping out. Give the students 30 seconds to pick up as many fish as they can with their rods (time to practise counting to/from 30!). Once you reach 30 (or 0), count up each collection, write the sum, and solve to see how many fish the kids caught!
Modelling Count Ons
When working with count on facts, I try to only have the 'count on' part in materials to encourage the students to actually 'count on' not 'count all'. For this game, you will need some sort of moveable numberline. In the photo I have used cups with sticky notes but you could also use tent-folded cardboard numbers - I find it best if the numbers are standing up to make them easier to see. Place a paper plate number down next to an empty plate. Count out a number of counters onto the empty plate. Use the numberline numbers to model the addition sum shown. I chose to add in cups showing the addition and equals signs to help make the number sentence clear.
Paper Bag Count Ons
Again, for this activity I like to have a moveable numberline to show how we can use a numberline to solve additions. Place a number on a sticky note on an empty bag and scatter 1, 2 or 3 objects in front of it. I suggest using 2 counters. With one counter, make the number you are counting on from (the number shown on the bag). With the other, show the jumps you will make to 'count on' to get the solution.
This game is very easy to set up and play - all you need are 2 plates, a moveable numberline, and 10 of something. This size is perfect for small group work, but if you are looking at it as a whole class, I would be replacing the plates with hula hoops, the cups with paper plates, and the counters with bean bags or something else relatively large. To play, just choose a number for the first group, count out that number of counters, and place the rest in the second group. As you work, This would be a great opportunity to record the students discoveries to create an anchor chart.
Roll and Count On
Again, very easy to set up and play. See that die? Guess what it is... a Rubiks Cube! I kid you not! I have just Blu Tacked a set of pictures of collections of 1, 2 and 3 apples to each side. This would work perfectly in a pocket die. No need for fancy pictures either - just add some dot cards :)
Pick a number to start with and have a student locate it on the numberline and mark it with a counter. Have a student roll the picture die, and model the count on with another marker (I used plastic jets - great to keep the boys engaged!)
Roll 'n' Add
Yep! That's the same Rubik's Cube picture die there! Just add a large regular die (or again add numbers to a pocket die and you have a game ready to go. Have a student roll each die and state and solve the resulting count on fact. Because of it's very quick play, this is a great game to play as a warm-up to build fluency with count on additions.
Remember those paper plate numbers? Scatter them in a group, add a beanbag, a tens frane and some markers (chalk and sports markers works great!) and you have a Rainbow Fact addition game ready to play. Invite a student to toss the beanbag onto a paper plate and show that number in the tens frame. Have the class identify how many more you need to make ten. Fill the tens frame with markers of another colour and record the rainbow fact.
I am all about making math fun, and what better way to do that than by adding teddies? When I taught Grade 1, in Term 4 I made every Friday 'Teddy Math' day. This was our FAVOURITE time! One of our Teddy Math games was to simply show and solve additions like you see here. You could easily alter this to focus on count ons by placing a bucket or a box upside down and have a number of teddies 'hiding' in a cave. Heaps of fun - your kids will love it, I guarantee it!
Toss 'n' Roll
This is another fun count on fact game. Take out those paper plate numbers again, the picture die, and a beanbag (or one of those scrunched-up apples you now have) and set them up as shown here. Invite a student to toss the beanbag onto a plate, then roll the die and solve the addition fact you have made.
Remember, all of these games can be very easily tweaked to suit whatever your focus may be. Maths is my favourite time of day because we play so many games and the kids are so engaged. I hope this has given you a few ideas to play with too.