Go Fishing for Doubles

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The students will be able to develop their basic math fact fluency for doubles facts.

Big Idea

Students play a favorite card game which practices the quick and accurate recall of double facts.


10 minutes

Begin the lesson by asking the students what they know about reading fluency.  In my classroom, we discuss it as reading the way we talk, with accuracy and speed.  Tell the students that their understanding and recall of their basic math facts is called math fact fluency.  The reason math fact fluency is important is because when we begin to solve more difficult addition and subtraction problems, the completion of those problems with be easier if they can accurately and quickly recall those facts.

Develop the Concept

20 minutes

Have the students review what a doubles fact is.  Make a list of facts on the board as follows Doubles Facts.  I teach my students that basic math facts have a sum up to 20.  Doubles facts are those facts that have two addends that are the same.  Have the students discuss how to play the card game "Go Fish for Doubles." I model playing the game using a deck of large cards and inviting a student to come play with me.


You may decide that you would like to partner students based on need.  I have my students use their Cell Phone Pal partners that we choose at the beginning of the year. 

While students are playing, I circulate to watch and listen. I prefer not to direct, or redirect, students when they are working as I believe it "takes the game away" from the student. Usually students catch each other's errors. If students are completely off track with the game directions, or the facts, I may suggest that they check with another team first (if they haven't already thought to do this). If some students need to use manipulatives to help, they can count up from one of the given numbers, using the symbols on the playing cards.

Doubles are generally the easiest facts for students to remember. Even when/if students catch on quickly, I make sure we practice them diligently because doubles are foundational to other addition strategies (doubles plus/minus 1, doubles plus/plus 2), as well as multiplication. There are multiplication strategies that use students' comfort with doubles, such as the 4s table, which can be represented as doubles - doubled.  


5 minutes

Once students have played the game once or twice, call the students back together to discuss what they know about doubles and math fact fluency.  I find that the summarizer is important to review the skills learned and practiced that day.  The students get an opportunity to share and hear about the learning of their peers.