Math Background

Modeling and Recording Addition: When Students Ask

  • Why should I learn addition?
    Lead children to see that adding groups is helpful in finding the number of toys you have if you get 2 more, the number of animals you saw at the park, the number of pennies you have, the number of apples you have in 2 bags, and so on. Explain to children that knowing how to add will help them learn how to do more complex math later on.
  • Why do I need to learn the plus sign and equals sign?
    Explain to children that mathematical symbols tell you what to do in a number sentence. Whenever they see the plus sign, they will know that they need to add. Discuss other signs or symbols, such as stop signs, traffic lights, and danger signs, which children must instantly recognize and understand. Explain that mathematical symbols are part of a language that everyone understands and that the symbols and numbers are the same worldwide so people can communicate mathematically even if they speak different languages.
  • How do I know where to put each number in an addition sentence?
    Review the meaning of each symbol with children. Remind them that since + means “add,” the number of items in each group should go on either side of the plus sign. Since = tells you that two amounts are the same, you need to write the total number in both groups after the equals sign.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade K