Introducing Addition in Kindergarten

Introducing Addition in Kindergarten
Introducing addition is always such a fun time in Kindergarten!  The students are so excited to get to use everything they’ve been learning about numbers, and it makes them feel like big kids!

We always start with real objects and everything is hands-on with manipulatives before we transition into numerical representations.  I want my students to have a good grasp on what it means to add things together before we move on to abstract adding with numbers and symbols.  

While introducing addition to my Kindergarteners, we will use a variety of activities and differentiated worksheets.

I made these manipulative mats many years ago, but they are still so much fun for the students to act out different addition stories.

I also like to have the students act out addition problems.  We do this with, and without, a large number bond on the floor.


We'll also use stuffed animals to demonstrate the problems.

After acting out addition problems whole group with a number bond, I give the students their own copy of a number bond, and we use manipulatives to work on these at their tables.

While the students are working on these at their tables, I have my own number bond so I can demonstrate the problems as I walk around the room.  I taped mine onto a cookie sheet so I can use magnets as my manipulatives and they won't slide around!
Introducing Addition in Kindergarten with Number Bonds

The number bonds could also be used in a center along with these addition cards.

I found these awesome divided plates at Target that the students can use like number bonds. (They are very sturdy, so they'll hold up for a while!)  I put a set of addition cards, mini erasers, and the plates together in a tub, and we have an easy Math Center!


Another Math Center the students can use to practice their skills are these ten-frame cards.  They will just choose a card, and then use the mini erasers to demonstrate the addition problem.

 These domino parking lots are also a fun Math Center.  Students choose a domino, add up the dots, and place it on the correct parking lot.


Pocket chart activities are also a fun way to discuss addition and they're an easy way for the whole class to be able to see.

In this sort, "Sorting Sums on Dominos", students will add up the dots on the dominos and place them under the correct sum.  I like to use this one before I introduce the Domino Parking Lots.

This sort is called "Dominos & Equations".  The students will find the domino that represents the equation and place them together.
This is a good activity to do before introducing the center, "Dominos & Equations" where students will use real dominos to match to the equations.

After lots of practice with hands-on manipulatives, we move on to writing on paper.

The students love working with a partner on this Dice Addition Graphing Game.  Each partner rolls a dice, then they add the numbers together and write the sum on their graph.  First number to the top wins! (I always have them write the number instead of just coloring in the squares on the graph so they are also getting handwriting practice!)

We also like to add with dominos!  The students grab a domino out of the bucket, and then draw the dots on their paper.  They then write the addition sentence and find the sum.

All of these activities and more can be found in my new "Addition Activities and Worksheets for Kindergarten" packet on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Addition Activities and Worksheets for Kindergarten

I kept this packet free of any holiday or seasonal theme so you can use it any time of the year!  When selecting manipulatives to use with these activities, it’s up to you!  I like to switch up the manipulative I provide for the students to use, but some ideas would be unifix cubes, beans, seasonal mini erasers, pom poms, buttons, etc.

These are some of the books I read to my class while we are learning about addition.
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Addition Annie by David Gisler
The Addition Book by Jerry Pallotta
12 Ways to Get to 11 by Eve Merriam      
Quack & Count by Keith Baker              
One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab by April Pulley Sayre
Animals on Board by Stuart J. Murphy
Ten Apples Up On Top  by Dr. Seuss
Anno's Counting House by Mitsumasa Anno
Ten Little Rabbits by Virginia Grossman & Sylvia Long
Little Quack by Lauren Thompson
Let's Add to Ten, Again & Again! by Amanda Miller
Splash! by Ann Jonas

Some of these books do not explicitly write out addition problems, but are a great opportunity for the teacher to demonstrate the possible addition problems presented throughout the stories!

Feel free to PIN this picture to come back to the list later!

Great Picture Books to Teach Addition

You might also find these materials helpful:
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