To introduce addition, I gather my students on to the carpet. I hold up 3 red unifix cubes and 2 blue unifix cubes. I ask my students how many cubes I would have in all if I put the 2 colors together, and then I snap them together. My students are able to count and tell me 5.
I explain to the class that when we put things together, it is called addition. I also include that addition means we are "getting more of something." I then continue to hold up various sets of cubes, asking the children to help me add them together. We practice this together for about 10 minutes.
After practicing as a group with the cubes, I introduce the number sentence. So for example, 3 cubes and 2 cubes would be written as: 3 + 2= 5. I show only a few number sentences. Today's focus is not the number sentence, but just getting students used to the idea of adding sets together, and getting comfortable with this process.
After we spend time practicing as a whole group, I send students to their tables to practice. I have placed unifix cubes in the center of each table. I direct students to partner up with a friend at their table. If need be, I place 3 students together. I instruct the class that they are going to make sets to add for their partner, just as we did on the carpet together. For example, Sarah builds John two sets that he must add together. Next, John builds Sarah two sets that she must add together. I let students take turns practicing together for about 10 minutes, just to get comfortable with addition. Addition is such an important skill, I like to move this unit at a pretty slow pace. I discuss this further in my reflection.
After students work with partners, I ask them to each count out 10 cubes that are not connected. I explain to my class that they are going to hear a song that will instruct them to add cubes, and to follow along. At this point, I play Add Em Up from the Harry Kindergarten YouTube channel. I couldn't pick a more perfect song to go along with this lesson. Students are directed to add cubes together with a visual too! I have included video of this activity. Once the students are done following along to the song, our lesson is complete for today.