Math Background

Addition and Subtraction Facts to 20: Tips and Tricks

  • Basic-fact flash cards will be one of your best tools for helping your students master their facts. As you introduce different strategies, give students the fact cards for the strategies they know and encourage them to practice at home.
  • At all times, have available materials such as counters, blocks, number cubes, and spinners for children to practice adding and subtracting.
  • Once children have learned several strategies, have them tell about the strategy they used to find the answer.
  • Make use of lots of graphs to provide a context for facts. Have children find how many in all, how many more, or how many fewer.
  • Set up a classroom store in which objects cost 10¢ or less. Give each child 20 pennies. Allow children to take turns buying two items and finding how much they owe. Next provide objects for the store that cost up to 20¢. For subtraction, allow children to buy 1 item and tell how much is left.
  • Provide number cards and cards showing the plus, minus, and equals signs for children to make their own addition and subtraction number sentences.
  • Prepare posters that show different strategies and the facts that go with each strategy.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 1