Teaching Children Addition

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Learning remains a continuous process from childhood to adulthood. The teaching of addition is a step we all go through in our early ages. Mathematics remains a basis for the growth and proper foundation of a child. The teaching of mathematics on addition in the nursery schools has a link with the everyday activities performed by the children. Many ways have been put in place to reinforce the teachings. Simple additions are introduced in the early years and involve counting songs to reinforce numbers. An example is the, five little chicks. This is one of the simplest and among the best ways for setting up both addition and subtraction in the early years (Sarama & Clements, 2004). The subsequent steps follow in a short time the child will know that 3 add to 1 is 4, that 4 added to 1 is five and the chain continues.

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Games have also been found to be of value in building on addition in children. In the small breaks, children will be asked to compare the numbers of items they have. Questions like, How many items do you have?, who has more items and by how much? This empowers their reasoning and thoughts and despite working with small numbers, they will soon have the capability to mention large numbers. In a short while, counting will be minimized, and automatic mention of the added values will be achieved. Additionally setting up boundaries in class will help the children in learning both addition and subtraction (Minetola, Ziegenfuss & Chrisman, n.d.). This is done by allowing a specific number of children into a group at a time, and the children have to be keen on the number to avoid mistakes. They will be able to know how many more of us are required in the area or how many should be out of the area.

The primary framework aims at encouraging the application of mathematics in contrast to the EYFS. Themes on the use and application of mathematics have been developed, and progression on each has been built in stages (Adams, 2000). They cover year 1 to year 6. All the steps maintain a close relationship as you have to pass from one level to the other. The foundation stage supports that children will have to use the mathematical ideas developed in solving problems. Therefore, it is expected that addition problems should be solved with prior knowledge. The teaching of addition progresses with years and for year 1 the children have to be thought through concrete experiences. This means that solving addition problems will be based on measurements and money (Minetola, Ziegenfuss & Chrisman, n.d.). Concrete experiences will be dealt with, and the children will be expected to be near shops to give them a real experience of counting and having to do multiple additions on a daily basis.

Another method that is significant in the learning of addition is the understanding diagram. Haylock and Cockburn came up with this, and it shows various aspects needed by the children in learning mathematics. The diagram has a significant part on concrete experiences, and it is the teachers duty to complete tasks by himself/ herself and incorporate other resources for effective teaching. This has been proven to be effective as the children will have a better understanding through the linking to physical memories. Furthermore, this technique allows for dialogue between the students and teachers easily

Not to be forgotten is the use of oral and the mental methods in mathematical development. As mentioned before the early foundation stages involved singing and counting. This is part of the developmental stage which has a basis in offering the children the chance and privilege to build on their knowledge of the contents of addition (Adams, 2000). To add on is the knowledge of place value will be adequately developed for future purposes. Consolidation of ideas has to be maintained and; therefore, the use of mental and oral as a method for learning addition has to practice. The chance to apply the methods learned has to be given to the children. This will ensure that understanding of the concept sinks in the childrens mind.

Different models have to be in place to ensure that calculation mentally is understood. Through questions numbers and patterns relationships are developed further, and application of knowledge is enhanced. The ability to recall numbers is a characteristic required for children to manage calculations mentally. For children to add without problems necessary skills that entail recall of pairs up to the value of 9+9 is needed. Through repeated practice recall of both addition and subtraction is achieved (Minetola, Ziegenfuss & Chrisman, n.d.).

Written methods are also an important part in addition. This aims at giving children the ability to apply mental methods of calculations without the need to calculate in their heads. The children are encouraged to know some of the efficient methods. The method has stages and the first stage requires children to split numbers in various ways. Ways other than having to use the ones and tens are encouraged. This method entailed an empty line which on the second stage partition has to be done and recorded. The addition of the ones and tens to give a partial sum is done, and finally, the partial sums are added together (Minetola, Ziegenfuss & Chrisman, n.d.).

The third stage is the expanded form to show the children the additions that were done in a separate column. The children are expected to add the values on their own to build confidence. The fourth stage involves columns, and the carried digits are ensured they cannot be forgotten. They are to be noted just below the tens or hundreds of columns (Minetola, Ziegenfuss & Chrisman, n.d.). These steps are part of our daily lives and despite their small beginning, they are the reason you can always do large sums. This means a sound and efficient mental capacity for written methods is necessary for every child.


Adams, T. (2000). Helping Children Learn Mathematics through Multiple Intelligences and Standards for School Mathematics. Childhood Education, 77(2), 86-94. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00094056.2001.10521636

Minetola, J., Ziegenfuss, R., & Chrisman, J. Teaching young children mathematics.

Sarama, J., & Clements, D. (2004). Building Blocks for early childhood mathematics. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 19(1), 181-189. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2004.01.014

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