In my last post I talked about how much I enjoy teaching and planning for Mathematics. My students are currently learning about addition. One of the things I enjoy about teaching Year 3s and 4s is that a lot of them still have a positive attitude towards their lessons. I hope that by keeping things fun and engaging, I will be able to encourage them to keep this attitude for a long time yet! I have continued to compile activities and creative ideas for teaching the skill of addition, and have some more to share with you today.
Using playing cards in maths immediately gets the students’ attention, as it turns their learning into a game! Similarly to dice, playing cards can be used to randomly generate numbers for students to add together. This is a great way to get repeated practice in for students in the younger years. As they become more confident, try adding more complexity to the activity. There is a game called ‘Addition War’ which involves two players picking two cards from the deck and adding them together. The player with the most points gets to keep all of the cards from that round. The winner is the player with the most cards at the end of the game!
Task cards are very popular and can be used in so many ways! Simple addition task cards can be used for games like memory or snap, as ‘challenges’ for early finishers or as flashcards. You could even hide them around the room and send the students on an ‘Addition Hunt’. As they come across each card, have them record their working out and answers in their books before moving on to the next card.
I know that the word ‘test’ doesn’t usually make anyone feel excited, but there’s no reason why tests can’t be fun! I have found that setting up a regular routine that involves ‘quick maths tests’ is so effective in helping my students gain confidence with their number fact recall. By having them time themselves, it gives the students a personal best to work on. I also get students to record an area they’d like to improve on for next time.
To keep students motivated to work on their skills, why not use a chart? Having charts for students to record their progress on works hand in hand with the timed tests mentioned above. I have a progress chart for addition that spells out the words ‘Addition Adventurer’. When a student reaches a new level by showing that they are confident with their addition sums, they get to add a letter to their chart. For example, once a student is confident with adding up to 10, they might get the letter A to add to their chart. Then, once their chart is complete they get a prize to celebrate!
Activities that involve balancing equations are such a fantastic indicator of how clearly students understand the concept of addition. It is one skill to be able to calculate the sum of two numbers. It is another skill to be able to compare two sets of numbers and see if they have the same answer. There are many ways for students to practise balancing equations. One simple way that I like to do this is by having the equations spread over a page (like the cloud page below) and asking students to colour in the matching equations.
Students are also great at coming up with their own practice activities, so another idea is to try asking them to create their own ‘balancing equations’ task. Then they can swap tasks with a friend and try out their ideas!
I hope that you and your students enjoy exploring 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 3.
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