Fact Family Sort

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SWBAT identify which equations belong in which fact families by sorting them into their proper houses.

Big Idea

While fact families are not required in kindergarten, it is very helpful for the kids to be exposed to them to support the depth of learning they will experience in first grade.

Daily Calendar & Counting Review

15 minutes

Each day we begin our math block with an interactive online calendar followed by counting songs and videos.

Calendar Time:

We do calendar on Starfall every afternoon.  This website has free reading and math resources for primary teachers. It also has a  “more” option that requires paying a yearly fee. The calendar use is free. I've included a resource where Daily Calendar is explained in depth.

Counting with online sources: Today we did counting practice to reinforce the counting skills. We watched two to three number recognition 0-10 videos (one to two minutes each) because some of my students students were still struggling with identifying numbers correctly in random order. We watched "Shawn the Train" and counted objects with him to refresh our memories on how to count objects to ten and to reinforce one to one counting. Since we have started the second quarter of the school year, we added to today's counting practice: counting to 20 forward and back, counting by tens to 100 and counting to 100 by ones to get a jump on our end of the year goals.

Direct Instruction

10 minutes

This lesson begins with watching the fact family video and discussing what we have learned so far.

We reflect on the first two lessons and talk about the things we know to be true about fact families.

I then take out strips of paper that have one equation each on them. I tell the kids that I wonder if I could figure out which equations go together in the same family. (I write the equations on sentence strips)

I read each strip and I place them together in groups while thinking aloud about what I see, how the numbers are related and how the equations are related.

Guided Instruction

10 minutes

For guided instruction, each child is given a sandwich baggy with two houses and eight equation strips. I guide them step by step (we all do it together at the same time) putting each equation strip into the correct house.

This gets them prepared to do it on their own with support from their learning partners in the independent learning section.

Once we have sorted them altogether, I have the kids mix the strips back up and put them back in the bags. I do this because the concept of fact families is very difficult and it helps the kids "see" the connections when we do it together before they are asked to repeat it on their own. In no way are the kinders expected to understand fact families without support. This unit of study is for exposure and introduction only.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

The kids stay at their tables and sort equation strips into their proper houses.

They take turns pulling a strip from the bag, deciding where it goes and explaining to their partner why. The partner is free to disagree respectfully and explain why they disagree.

They place as many equations as possible into the correct houses during the time available.

Most of them finish in time to have it completed.


5 minutes

We meet back on the floor with our papers to discuss how we knew where each equation belongs.

The kids are encouraged to share any challenges they may have had.

One student explained how she made sure that she only used the same two groups of blocks (3 and 2) putting them together and taking them apart when she was putting the equations in the house. She said if 3 and 2 weren't in it, she couldn't use the equation.

It was evident to me that their understanding of fact families had grown substantially in just three lessons.

Exit Ticket

10 minutes

The exit ticket for this lesson is the completed sorting page. I collect them and then check them for accuracy.

Kids demonstrating very little or no understanding are placed in a small group for further instruction.