Loading ...

How to Teach Addition in Kindergarten

By Kyra Sheahan ; Updated April 24, 2017
Young child solving math problems on a chalkboard.

Being able to count to 10 is one of the early math skills that young learners should possess upon entering kindergarten; it serves as the foundation for teaching kindergartners the concept of addition. When it comes to developing a lesson plan for teaching kids to add numbers together, keep in mind that, at this young age, students will learn and retain the information most effectively by practicing with manipulatives and then moving into numerals as they become more familiar with the process.

Loading ...

Review basic numbers between one and 10 with kindergartners. Make sure the students are familiar with the sequence of the numbers. Play a verbal counting game in class where you start out saying "one," and the student you point to must state the next number in the sequence, all the way up to 10. You can also review basic counting skills with students by playing with a ball. Stand in a circle with the students and hold a rubber bouncy ball in your hands. Tell the students to count each time the ball bounces. You might start out bouncing the ball three times in a row, in which case students should all chime in and say "one, two, three..." Pay attention to how well the students are responding to the counting exercises to determine if they are ready to move on to addition.

Introduce kindergartners to the addition sign. Show them what the sign looks like by drawing it on the front board; tell them how to use it in a math problem. For instance, the addition sign is commonly spoken as the word "plus," such as "five plus five." Teach students that the addition sign is used to combine the number that goes before it and the number that goes after it.

Prepare your manipulatives. You might use cereal, pieces of candy or small blocks as your manipulatives. Manipulatives allow you and students to complete live demonstrations of how addition works.

Show kindergartners how to add using the manipulatives. Start out slowly by adding one and one together. Take a manipulative and place it in the center of the desk. Then, tell the students to add one more manipulative to the pile. The students should follow your instruction by taking one manipulative and placing it next to the other one. Now, ask the kindergartners how many manipulatives there are.

Increase the difficulty as kindergartners grasp the concept of addition. Use more manipulatives to create harder problems for them to solve.

Advance to math magnets as your means of teaching kindergartners addition. Math magnets are in the shape of numbers, and this moves students away from manipulatives, so that they learn how to add with numbers. Set up a magnetic board where students can play with the math magnets. Call out directions for them to see how well they are able to construct addition problems and solve them correctly using the magnets.

Play addition games. You can use students as the props. Tell the class you wish to add two plus two. Call on two kindergartners to stand up in front of the class. Then, ask two more kindergartners to come up to the front of the class. Now, ask students to solve the problem.

Create addition worksheets to give students practice adding. Worksheets should present basic addition formulas for students to solve. Give kids the chance to work on their worksheets in class. Always review the work they do to make sure they are on the right track.

Things You Will Need

  • Rubber bouncy ball
  • Manipulatives
  • Math magnets
  • Magnetic board
  • Worksheet
Loading ...

About the Author

Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.

Loading ...