As I enter the beginning of the Autumn school holidays, I can’t help but let my mind wander towards the things I need to plan for next term. The first thing on my agenda will be to update my Maths planner. One of my favourite subject areas to teach and plan for is Mathematics. It is so diverse and there are SO many fun ways to get the students engaged in their learning.
In the classroom, we talk about the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Students begin by learning about addition. It takes time, practice and a lot of repetition for students to become comfortable with addition. Luckily, there are so many fun ways to teach and reinforce the skill of addition. So, as I get to planning my Maths lessons, let me help you out with your planning too. Below I’m going to share some of my favourite addition activities for kids.
A simple set of dice can go a long way when it comes to practising maths facts! You can use 2 six-sided dice to generate random numbers for your children to add while they are still in the early stages. Then, once they are feeling more comfortable with that, you can introduce more dice or try using twelve-sided dice. As an extension, you can ask your students to roll five dice at the same time, and then make a 5-digit number. Repeat for a new 5-digit number, and then add these together. You could even get creative and come up with a new dice game with your children.
Sometimes students simply need repeated written practice of addition facts. Instead of giving them a sheet covered in equations, try shaking things up by using an addition grid! These work in a similar way to a multiplication grid, where the numbers are given along the top and left-hand side, and students need to write the answer in the squares where the numbers meet. Addition grids provide a great opportunity for students to notice patterns too. You can ask them to highlight or colour the patterns that they see. Not to mention, addition grids also transition well into multiplication grids, and can be a good step up from a hundreds chart. Your students may already know how to identify odd and even numbers using a hundreds chart, but can they find the pattern between adding odd numbers and even numbers using an addition grid?
Another way to keep students engaged while they practice their equations is to turn it into an addition sorting activity. Something as simple as asking students to sort equations into ‘answers below 500’ and ‘answers above 500’ gives them an extra challenge that motivates them to stay focused on the task. Sorting activities are also a great way to introduce estimating. You might ask the students to sort the equations into the two categories before they have figured out the answers, just through their estimations. Then they can check if their estimations were accurate once they have calculated the equations.
Puzzles are such a fun educational tool! They can be used for almost any subject area, and are especially easy to incorporate into maths. One way this can be done is by using 100s puzzles. Students will need to use their addition skills to put three numbers together that equal one hundred.
For those students who need a challenge, you could use 500s puzzles, and have the puzzles pieces all look the same so that there isn’t any sneaky guessing happening.
Finally, why not try cooking? Recipes naturally lend themselves to maths. There are always numbers involved, whether it is calculating measurements, calculating the money spent on ingredients, or calculating how many chocolate chips you can eat before they make it into the cookie dough! There are even resources that add extra addition and subtraction steps to simplified recipes to help make them more kid-friendly. Plus, I’m sure using cooking during your maths lessons will keep the kids on their best behaviour.
I hope that you are inspired to try some of these creative addition activities! You can use the links to find your own copy of any resources referenced in this post.
Still after some more ideas? Stay tuned for my next post, Fun Addition Activities for Kids – Part 2.
Have a question or a request? You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org