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...

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