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First Grade Addition: With a CHANT FREEBIE!

It’s an exciting time in first grade when students have learned their routines, can work independently, and make strides in their learning!  You know that moment when they are no longer acting like students who just left Kinder, ha?!  When I taught first grade years ago, I always enjoyed that moment… that moment when it all clicked!  Now that I get to go into a first grade classroom often, all of those memories just keeping flooding back!

The first graders started addition last week, and I was so excited to get to introduce the concept to the class.  We used these Part, Part, Whole workmats with counters to start our unit!


Before I share more about our workmat, I wanted to share an Addition chant with you!

math chants

You can grab your chant words HERE!  AND, Here’s how that chant goes:

Okay, now back to the workmat…

We practiced putting counters into our part circles.  Then we drove the counters down our mat to make our whole.  We talked a lot about joining our parts together, combining our addends, and the such!


After we did that several times, we began writing equations to go with our addition model.  I get a lot of questions about the neon tabs that we use during Magic of Math.  You can find those HERE or buy them at a local craft store.


The plastic sleeves that I purchased at the beginning of the year have been a LIFESAVER.  I’m saving so much paper and am able to reuse the workmats over and over again… PLUS I get to file them away since they aren’t destroyed!  You can find the plastic sleeves that I purchased HERE.



After we used our workmats and did our chant several times, we played the game Grab and Go.  Each student had two small tubs (found at the Dollar Tree) filled with counters (these are just vase fillers).  Students pinched out counters from each tub, placed them in their addend boxes, and then wrote an addition equation to match their model.


They absolutely LOVED this!  I think it was because they got to pinch out the amount they wanted.  A little choice can go a long way!


They even did well when it was time to turn over the page and our addend boxes weren’t there anymore!  Several of the students used their lids to hold their new equation!


This activity can be found in our First Grade Addition unit!

Then it was time to do a little independent work.  This was definitely their FAVORITE part… which is funny because it was so simple!  Students showed what they had learned about addends to create their own addition models with Paint Dabbers.  You can find Paint Dabbers at most stores, and often in the dollar section.  Click HERE for the best deal that I saw on Amazon.


It sure did make for a pretty assignment 🙂


I promised the students that I would bring the paint dabbers back real soon!  They wanted to keep on using them, but in order to keep things fresh I put them away until next time 🙂  All of the activities I mentioned in this post are from our 1st Grade Magic of Math unit on Addition.  It comes with TWENTY days of addition activities!  Click HERE to check that out!


 If you’d like to save these ideas for later, make sure you pin the image below!


Hi, I'm Amy

Hey, y’all! My name is Amy Lemons and I am passionate about providing students with both engaging and effective standards-based Math and ELA lessons.


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