Build, Draw, Add

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Students will add fluently within 12.

Big Idea

In this lesson, students are BUSY building, counting, drawing, and adding!


5 minutes

To begin our lesson today, I play Add With a Pirate from Harry's Kindergarten YouTube station. My students LOVE this song! It is a good preview for today's work, and gets my students excited and in math mode.


10 minutes

After the pirate song, I keep children gathered in front of the white board. I display today's task. When I created this activity, I was trying to encompass building, counting, drawing, and addition. As with most lessons, I find my students do best when they are using hands on tools, and creating a visual. It seems the addition comes more easily when all of these essentials are in place. I feel that I am able to touch on many skills throughout this lesson- counting, one-to-one correspondence, and addition.

Using unifix cubes, I complete the first addition problem with the class. I ask students to come up and assist me as we work through the problem. The task requires students to count out a given number with 2 sets of cubes. The students then draw the given numerals. So for example 3 + 2, we count out a set of 3 cubes and a set of 2 cubes. Then I have a student draw 3 dots and 2 dots, representing the numerals/cubes. 

We combine the cubes (3 + 2), count them, and arrive at the sum of 5. Students also draw 5 dots for the sum. 

After we work through the process and arrive at a sum, children are ready to go give it a try independently.


Independent Work

15 minutes

Students head to their seats for independent work. I pass out a large handful of unifix cubes, and place them in the center of each table.

As students work, I move around the room to assist and observe. I noticed that many students were fixated on having a specific color for each numeral. So for 3 + 2, students wanted 3 red cubes and 2 green cubes. They also drew 3 red dots, and 2 green dots.

I have included a video of one student who was working. The video is brief, and she does arrive at the sum of 12 for 6 + 6, which is not shown. I highlighted the video of her, because she was doing a fantastic job verbalizing the steps she was taking to arrive at the sum.

The students all did really well on this activity, and I will be using it again!