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Addition Games to Build Number Sense


If you've ever worked with primary children, you've undoubtedly seen the look of frustration on your student's faces when they can't quite grasp the understanding of addition and subtraction.  Usually, the problems stem from teachers introducing abstract symbols before students have had a lot of real experiences manipulating objects to help them develop a sense of quantity, number combinations, and number relationships. "Symbols come to have meaning only when they are associated with these real experiences." Kathy Richardson  So put away the workbooks and flashcards and break out the games.  If you've used mine and Deedee's Kindergarten or First Grade Math Units you know that we are a firm believer in giving kids conceptual experiences to help them develop a deep understanding of number sense.  Here are a few ideas for things that you can do in your classroom to help your students build number sense for addition and subtraction.  

Use the “Five Little this and five little that” poems to work on addition and subtraction.  Let the kids be the manipulatives.  Use language like,  "3 and 2 is 5," so that when it comes time to introduce the symbols for addition they will already have a conceptual understanding. 

 These monster puppets are a great way to get your students involved in the math poem.

Give your students lots of opportunities to play games that require them to build two sets of objects and then count them to see how many in all. 


You can use any manipulatives that you have in your room and a set of dice to get started.  Kids love using real objects like pom poms, keys, pattern blocks, and unifix cubes. 

Abby and I teamed up to work on some games to help your students strengthen their number sense.  You can read her post here.  We just finished the second set of math games, and this set is all about Addition. There are ELEVEN games, and they are on sale for almost 40% off until Wednesday.
 Here's some of what's included:



















Thanks for visiting my blog.  I hope you are enjoying your summer!!



14 comments:

  1. I already bought these games, because I know they are going to be such a great tool for my kinder cubs!! I'm going to start printing and laminating this summer, so I'll have them ready to go when school starts!! Games like this also teach so much in cooperation, taking turns, and being kind! :)I'll be sure and share pictures when we do these games!! :)

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I hope your little ones love them! :)

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  2. I have been focusing my time off this summer on creating some 2nd grade games for my students to play during math centers. The kids love them AND they get a lot of practice with their math skills! There has been a lot of pressure at my school to jump straight to the "test prep" part of math instruction and it is really hurting our students.

    Primary On The Prowl

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  3. I have been focusing my time off this summer on creating some 2nd grade games for my students to play during math centers. The kids love them AND they get a lot of practice with their math skills! There has been a lot of pressure at my school to jump straight to the "test prep" part of math instruction and it is really hurting our students.

    Primary On The Prowl

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    1. Hi Crystal, EXACTLY!!! They have to have concrete experiences in order to build a strong understanding of number sense. Listen to your instincts and your students will have higher test scores than those who jump right in to pencil/paper test prep.

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  4. I would love to buy these but looked on your Tpt and didn't find them. Don't see a link here. brenda.anderson@krumisd.net

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    1. HI Brenda, Here's the link. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Addition-Math-Games-for-Kindergarten-and-First-Grade-2594254 You can also click on the cover image above. Thanks so much!

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  6. Deanna, these games look so much fun! I am very interested in a first grade edition that I could use across the year for Addition, Subtraction, NBT, MD, and Geometry. Do you currently have anything like that available?

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  7. I think that these games are amazing for the kids to develop their minds in their early age.
    Thanks for the share. Good work. preschool franchise opportunities

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  8. It’s true that children get frustrated by mathematical activities; they start to lose their interest in that activity at some point. That’s why many elementary educational institutions & preschools in New York involve the students in fun, dynamic and engaging learning activities. The games and ways you’ve mentioned are great and are sure to make learning more interesting. Thanks for the post.

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  9. Do these games come in the math tool kit lessons or is this a separate purchase?

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