Children learn numbers to represent quantities and to solve quantitative problems. Some pre-skills needful for learning addition include counting, one-to-one correspondence, the concepts of part-while relationship, number bonds, and perhaps recognition of small quantities by sight and grouping objects together.

Learning how to add is an important milestone in a child’s math development. Children develop different strategies to learn how to add- like working with combining small quantities together, using concrete objects to help them count the total number and model approaches.

It is important that your child is ready for such addition concepts. Follow your child’s interest in numbers, and concretise the learning with pictures, visual aids and hands-on materials!

I knew my girl was ready when she came home one day and told me she wants to add using counters. I was delighted she initiated that! A good guess will be she has been using these Montessori materials in her preschool. Using concrete materials to learn is ingrained in them from early exposure to Montessori approach to learning. Visualising the addition process for a Montessori learner is effortless and engaging!

For this hands-on activity, you simply can gather some materials from home:
1. writing board or writing paper
2. Small objects like chips, counters, macaroni, poms poms, or pebbles.

3. Number dice or number spinners

To play this game, just ask your child to roll the dice or spin a number.

Represent the two numbers using the small objects.
Then model the process of addition by counting all the objects represented.

Complete the addition sentence by writing in the total quantity.

Some educational videos also make learning fun!

Learning how to add can be fun and interactive!!

# Dice Game to teach numbers and addition

To continue the series of using the Dot Method to teach quantity, this post is on using dices to match the quantity with the correct numbers.

You just need to place a few dices in a jar, and some number cards, and you are ready to play the game!

To start the game, I got Rae to toss one dice and identify the quantity shown on the face of the dice. Then she has to match the dice to the correct number card. She continues tossing one dice at a time, and repeats the matching.

To challenge her thinking further, when she finishes tossing and matching the dices with the number cards, I got her to look at the cards and dices, and asked her which number has the most number of dices that matched. She took a while to decide which number card has the maximum number of dices, but when she finally exclaimed it was number card Three, I was beaming with pride at my little girl’s milestone of understanding the math concept of comparison. There! The joy of being involved with my child’s learning! 🙂

Number bonds for more advanced learners

To teach number bonds for more advanced learners, just shake two dices in a little jar, and ask them to identify the two quantities shown.

Get them to count the total number of dots shown on both dices, or ask them to do mental addition of the two numbers. Then match the sum total number to the correct number card. You can also introduce number bonds statements “One and Five Make Six”, or addition sentences like 4 + 3 = 7

I remembered using this method to teach addition and number to my class of 6-year olds, and it was an engaging game especially in a small group of children in class. They took turns to shake the dices in the jar, and they did mutual checks on each other’s answers. As a teacher, I couldn’t be happier, when I see my pupils enjoy applying the concepts in a game.

I also remembered one pupil being ingenious when he suggested using the dices in a jar for a game of snakes and ladders! How creative! 🙂

# Rock Dominoes- Addition & Number bonds

Following our post on the Dot Method to perceive quantity by sight, I stumbled upon this idea of making Rock Dominoes in a Martha Stewart Craft site, and I straightway started brewing ideas on how to use these lovely handmade rock dominoes to teach Math.

Making the rock dominoes is easy! Just collect some rocks or smooth pebbles, and use a correction ink pen to inscribe the dots on the rocks.

Make a collection of rocks, with combinations of two quantities on either half of the rocks, with a dividing line. Get your child to recognise the quantity by sight. If your child is not sure, you can get them to check by counting the dots one by one on each side.

To get your child to learn number bonds, ask your child to identify the two quantities on the rock. Then pair them up with the dot cards according to the exact quantities on the rock.

Then ask your child to count all the dots on the two dot cards, to give you a sum total. You can prompt your child by asking ” How many dots are there altogether?”

To conclude this practice, make number bonds statements like ” 3 and 4 make 7″, or addition sentence ” 3 plus 4 equals 7″. For older children, get them to write down the addition sentence 3 +4 =7

The rock dominoes and the dot cards are great visual aids to help your child grasp concepts of number bonds and addition. This approach also helps your child to understand the part-whole relationship in addition concepts.

Now go and rock it! 🙂