Understanding Addition With A Graphic Organizer

19 May 2016 / 2 comments

Do you have students who struggle to understand the concept of addition? Are your students visual learners who need help with organization? This easy to make graphic will help students fully understand the concept of adding two sets together.

Here is the addition mat I begin with. It is a little tough to tell in the picture, but I drew the organizer on plexiglass. You could also make it on an over head projector slide or page protector... anything that is see through will work. 

To begin, I put the numbers in the addition sentence underneath each hand. 

Next, students make the sets on top of the hands. 

I have students scoop up the sets with their hands and bring their hands together to mix the 2 sets into one group. Finally, students drop the big group into the box. Have students count the manipulatives in the box for the answer to the addition sentence. 

Once students get a hang of the steps, I switch the graphic to one I have drawn on paper and laminated. I then begin putting the addition sentence at the top of the paper. After the students have figured out the answer, we work on writing the whole addition sentence on paper. 

Students continue going through the steps on this version of the graphic organizer. 

This system has been SOOOO helpful to my students! I love that it is easy to make and doesn't cost a dime. If at any time my students start to struggle with a problem or addition in general, we pull the organizer back out.

Think other teachers might be interested in this easy system? Pin the image below to share it with them. 

Do you have an easy way to demonstrate addition to students? Leave a comment below so we can all learn!


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