Addition Number Stories- Day 1

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Students will be able to create their own number stories and represent them using one of the methods we have learned in this unit.

Big Idea

After reading If You Were a Plus Sign, students create their own number stories by representing addition using pictures and possibly equations.

Problem of the Day

5 minutes

I start each math lesson with a Problem of the Day.  I use the procedures outlined here on Problem of the Day Procedures.

Today's Problem of the Day:

Cameryn has 8 cookies.  Show two ways that he can group his cookies.

I set this problem up with some structures to help the students organize their thinking.  I give two boxes split into two sections each to help the students see that they need to create groups.  I also add blank number sentence frames to remind the students to also write their answers as an equation.  I did not add pictures to this file.  Students can draw cookies or use manipulatives.  This problem is difficult for some students because it asks for two ways of representing the joining.  This is necessary because standard K.OA.3 says that students need to be able to decompose numbers less than or equal to ten in more than one way. The idea that numbers can be put together or broken apart to make other numbers is a critical understanding in the development of computational fluency. 

Since we do this whole group, I have two students come up and work on this problem.  I have one student create the first grouping and another student create a different grouping.  I remind students to check their work when they are finished and have the class tell if they agree or disagree by showing a thumbs up or thumbs down. 

Presentation of Lesson

25 minutes

I start this lesson by showing the book If You Were a Plus Sign.  I remind students that a plus sign is the symbol that we put between two numbers in an equation to show that we are adding.  By this point, we have been working with addition for a few weeks, so most students are comfortable with the name and purpose of a plus sign.

We have been working with writing addition number sentences which are also called equations.  Today we are going to read a story about addition that gives some great examples of addition number stories.  The author and illustrator included not just words to tell the number stories but also pictures and equations.

I read the story, stopping to point out how the author and illustrator were able to represent addition using pictures, words, numbers and symbols.  See how I used the book here.

We just got some great ideas about how to represent number stories.  Let's create our own.   

I have students give me an idea for a number story.  I illustrate it on a large piece of chart paper and write the equation to go with it.  I also model how to solve the same number story with manipulatives and on a ten frame.  I make sure to model how I want the students to complete their number story.  I include a picture that clearly represents the addition.  I also include the equation at the bottom of the page.  While writing equations is not required in kindergarten, it is encouraged, so I set students up with the opportunity to write an equation for their number story.

You are going to get your own "If You Were a Plus Sign" Book.  Your book has four pages.  Today we are only going to work on the first page.  When you get your book, put your name on the cover and then put your pencil in the air. 

Even though the students will be working on their number stories independently, I still have them put their name on their paper and hold their pencil in the air.  This is our routine and helps ensure that the students remember to put their name on their book.  I also like to repeat the directions one more time once they are at their seats, since some students forget what to do during that transition.  When all students have their names on their books, I remind them that we are only doing the first page today.  When they are finished, they can put their book in the basket and get their center. 

I walk around and make sure that students have come up with a number story and are drawing it and writing their equations.  I have ten frames and manipulatives available for who want to use those to represent the number story.  If students use the manipulatives, I take a picture of their work and add it to their book after I print the picture.


I got the idea for this activity from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten.  The "If You Were A Plus Sign" student book that I am using in this lesson is available as a free download from her blog.


20 minutes

The centers for this week are:


I quickly circulate to make sure students are engaged and do not have any questions about how to complete the centers.   I pull two or three groups during centers and work with them depending on the time they need (5 - 10 minutes).

Today I am focusing on addition with all of the groups.  While my students are doing well on our addition lessons and centers, I want to continue to practice how to solve word problems and written equations.  I verbally give the group word problems.  I have them solve them using manipulatives.  I then show the students some equations and have them solve them using manipulatives.

Prior to clean up, I check in with each table to see how the centers are going.  My students have been struggling with getting cleaned up quickly and quietly after centers.  Lately I have been using counting down from 20 slowly instead of a clean up song.  Counting backwards is as critical as counting up. Students need to be able to know the number that comes before, as well as after, any given number (w/i 10, w/i 20, etc.). Counting back is a critical strategy for subtraction, which we will be starting soon!

The students like to count backwards with me as they clean up and I can lengthen or reduce the clean up time based on how students are doing and how much time we have.


10 minutes

To close, I put a student's book on the document camera and project it on the SMARTBoard and have the student explain their work.  I chose one student who clearly represented addition in their picture and wrote a correct equation.  I mention positive things noticed during centers as well as something that needs to be better next time. 

I review what we did during our whole group lesson.  "Today we learned talked about addition number stories and working on creating our own.  Tomorrow we will continue to work on our "If I Were A Plus Sign" books by creating another number story."