Addition to 5

Addition to 5

I can solve addition problems to 5.

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Addition to 5

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Students learn to add numbers to 5 to a total of 5.

Common core standard(s)



It is important for students to be able to add to 5 so they know how to calculate the total of two small amounts.


Practice counting to 5 with the students by asking them how many students are shown in the images on the interactive whiteboard. Then practice the number line with students by setting the balls in numerical order. Discuss with students which number comes first and which comes next and ask students to explain why the ball belongs in its specific place.


Tell students that sometimes you have visual support of your addition problem, and sometimes you just see the numbers of an addition problem. Explain that you first count the objects in the first group, and then count on with the objects in the second group. Say that the objects you already have always are the first number in your addition problem, and the objects that join your first number are the second number in the addition problem. Practice this with a few examples.
If you do not have visual support of your addition problem, you can use the rekenrek or blocks. You can also use the number line to help solve the problem. Discuss that you can calculate the sum in different ways, for example by swapping the numbers in the problem, or solving the problem with one more or one less. Together with the students, practice calculating the sum and ask students how they solve the problem.

To check that students understand addition to 5 you can ask the following questions:
- Can you swap the numbers in an addition problem?
- Can you give an example of 3 + 1?
- How do you solve 2+1?

Guided practice

In the first exercises students solve the problems with visual support and must fill in the correct answer. Next they are given an exercise where they must add to, and finally they are given only the addition problem without any visual support.


Discuss with students that it is important to be able to add to 5 so they can calculate totals. Practice with a few different problems of adding to 5.

Teaching tips

Students who have difficulty with the abstract problems can be supported by using the rekenrek or blocks.

Instruction materials

rekenrek, blocks

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