Small Steps Get Us There

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SWBAT build fluency in solving addition facts.

Big Idea

My students have been working on number recognition, joining numbers, and basic addition. I want them to work on addition strategies and build a flashcard activity to increase fluency.

Rev Them Up

10 minutes

I will have my students play a game of "Around the World."

Directions: This is a competitive game to see who can say the correct answer first.  You begin by selecting two students.  These students stand up and you will ask your question.  Whoever says the answer first, wins.  The winner is then matched with a new person and the same process proceeds.  You will continue to match the winner with a new person until everyone in the room has a turn and the final winner is produced. I love this game because it can be used in any content area. Go here to see a video of my class playing the game to compare numbers.

For this game I will have my students answering questions towards "simple addition facts." Watch the video in the resource section...they love this game!


Okay, here we go, what is the answer to?




Continue with equations like this until everyone has a turn.

Whole Group Interaction

10 minutes

I have already introduced addition to my class and today's lesson will begin focusing on building fluency in solving addition equations, which correlates with our common core standards for first grade. (1.OA.C.6). It is extremely important for First Graders to develop fluency in solving addition/subtraction facts because it will allow them to concentrate on higher order thinking skills to solve more complicated equations in later grades. Otter Creek offers a facts fluency program to use to train and assess your students and provides good research information tied to the NCTM standards for the support of building fluency in math at the First Grade level. 

I will ask students to trade cards with their neighbor and check each others cards for correct answers. If they are using these cards to practice fluency for solving math facts, it is paramount for them to use correct answers to memorize.  First Graders must make sure their calculations make sense and work hard to solve each equation. I want them to identify if they just solved 2+2=4 and now they state 2+1=4 that there is a disconnect. I want them to use meta-cognition and realize, "if I know 2+2=4 then how could 2+1=4 also?" (MP1) This is especially important because they will be memorizing the fact answers and you do not want them memorizing the wrong answer.

You can see my students checking each others cards in the Checking our cards Video. We will help each other solve any misunderstandings and then return them to their owner. I will pair students up and ask them to use their flashcards with each other to practice their addition facts. I will tell them to keep their baggy in their lap and use each person's cards one set at a time.  If not, they will dump them all out at once and they will get mixed up. Watch the Using our flashcards Video to see my class in action.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

Of course, I could have created my own addition flashcards for my students to answer and use for drill practice, but it wasn't necessary with all the different files available for free on the Internet.  I went here to pick flashcard sets and printed them out because I liked the size.  I will have to eliminate some of the cards from a couple of pages or just use them to differentiate and challenge my higher students.  There is another site you can visit for larger cards that are completely focused on specifically adding 0, 1, and 2, here. I will make enough copies for every student. I will pass them out, have them cut them apart and solve.  I want their answers written on the back of each card, so they can be used as flashcard practice. Watch the video of a Student answering his cards. I will write each student's name on a Ziploc Baggie and pass them out for students to store their flashcards.

Center Time

10 minutes

You can create a class set of flashcards to place in a center for students to help each other practice during free choice time. I would print the flashcards on card stock and laminate them if you have access. Make sure the flashcards include the answer on the back. Other ways to gain multiple sets of flashcards would be to check your local Dollar General or Dollar Tree or ask parents for flashcard donations.

There are many centers you can set up for students to practice fluency of addition facts. Here is a video sharing another center set up in a corner of my room. Also, you can see a Picture of two students participating at it during their free time choice in the resource section.