Addition and Subtraction in 1st Grade

Addition and Subtraction are to very basic computation skills children will use everyday for the rest of their lives. Laying a good foundation is crucial to building on for more complex math skills down the line. These resources pertain to VA SOL 1.5: The student will recall basic addition facts with sums to 18 and the corresponding subtraction facts. Included are books, online activities, and additional teacher resources to use in teaching and guiding practice of these addition and subtraction facts.


Twelve Ways To Get To 11
by Eve Merriam, illustrated by Bernie Karlin

12 Ways To Get To 11

When counting to twelve we discover 11 is missing! Throughout the rest of the book we explore ways to make 11 with various objects in various settings from acorns to sailboats and  babies to chicks. We find a wide array of number combinations and just how many ways to can make up another number.
What’s New at the Zoo
by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by John Waites

What's New at the Zoo

Through and adventure through the zoo, we add and count all the animals. This book covers basic addition skills, uses rhyming and lyrical text, and has wonderful watercolor illustrations to boot. The back section also gives notes for educators and lesson ideas.

Domino Addition
by Lynette Long

Domino Addition

Page by page we walk through the dominoes, adding them up to twelve, introducing this tool that can be used in many addition and subtraction activities. The visual images are great in this book,  allowing all the children to clearly and vividly see the facts you are illustrating. Fact families are also introduced. This book is a great lead in to a variety of activities and will keep students engaged.

Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz

Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday

Following Alex through the week, seeing how he spends all his money, we see subtraction principles in action. Money is also introduced. Alex is relatable and kids will really enjoy following him throughout this series of books covering various educational topics.  While teaching subtraction use this book, just omit the decimals, as they may still be too advanced.
Panda Math: Learning about Subtraction from Hua Mei and Mei Sheng
by  Ann Whitehead Nagda in collaboration with the San Diego ZooPanda Math

Through awesome pictures of the panda cubs, we explore subtraction in real life math situations. Interesting facts are used to illustrate subtraction problems, such as how much weight Hua Mei gained in three months or how much less time they eat bamboo compared to the wild. A fascinating subject and great way to relate math to kids.

Web Resources

 Number Eaters

This game is like a pac man game, you move your character to sums of a  number. For example the prompt €˜Sums of 2' would mean you could move to spaces named €˜1+1' or €˜2+0'. It puts a time pressure on student like pac man when the other villain is coming to eat your character. You have to move fast, starting with simple sums, moving to harder sums. This game comes in addition,  and subtraction as well as other functions.

Froggy Addition Game

This game covers basic addition facts, quizzing students on number sentences, giving three choices for answers to click on. It tell the right answer if you got it wrong and congratulates when correct. It also keeps score.

Balloon Pop Subtraction

This game uses popping balloons to quiz basic subtraction facts. The number sentence is at the top and three choices for the answer are at the bottom. You can figure out what the answer is by popping the same balloons for the number being subtracted.  Great for students starting out with subtraction.

Math Addition and Subtraction Game

This game is marked K, but it can be great for 1st grade as well. It is a timed game  that presents the number sentences and multiple choice answers in words and numerals randomly. It also shows the amount of apples in two rows on for each number being added or subtracted.

Alien Addition

This game shows a number sentence at the top and you have to click the space ship with the correct answer before they fly away! It uses a timed element to make more of a challenge. Student really have to know their facts!

Additional Resources:

Cookie Cutter Addition:  This lesson uses play dough and cookie cutters to create shapes inorder to illustrate number sentences. Children can also have practice formin numbers using play dough.

Teaching Addition:  This lesson helps the connection of addition to our everday lives.  Students will add objects together as well as come up with 3 ideas as to why addition is important for us to know.

Teaching subtraction with base 10 blocks:  This lesson uses a valuable manipulative in teaching subtraction: Base-10 Blocks. They can help show visually place value and regrouping in subtraction problems.