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Lesson Plans
Add It Up!

CCSS Math: Operations & Algebraic Thinking
  • K.OA.A.1: Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions or equations.
Materials Needed
Before You Begin

Print and cut out a set of ladybug counters and number tiles for each pair of students in your class.


  1. Read aloud Animals on Board by Stuart J. Murphy.
  2. As you read, point out to students that the truck driver is spotting two groups of the same animal and adding them together to find out how many of that animal there are.
  3. Challenge students to solve the addition problems along with you as you read.


  1. Tell students that you are going to practice adding two sets of objects together.
  2. Call on three students to stand up. Then say, “How many students are standing?” (Encourage students to count to 3 aloud together as you point to each student.)
  3. Ask, “If two more students stand up, how many students will be standing in all?” (Invite students to respond before having any other students stand.)
  4. Call on two more students to stand up with the other three. Write “3 + 2 =” on the board and say, “3 students plus 2 students equals how many students in all? Let’s count!”
  5. Lead the class in counting aloud all the students who are standing. Reinforce the concept by saying, “3 plus 2 equals 5.”
  6. Repeat the demonstration using different combinations of students (2 students and 1 student, 4 students and 2 students, 5 students and 3 students, etc.) to provide ample practice.

Guided Practice

  1. Have students partner up. Give each pair 20 ladybug counters, a set of number tiles, a leaf mat, and two dice.
  2. Instruct students to take turns rolling the dice. Have students count the number of dots on one die and place that many ladybugs on the first leaf. Then have them count the number of dots on the other die and place that many ladybugs on the second leaf.
  3. Encourage students to add the number of ladybugs on the first leaf to the number of ladybugs on the second leaf to find the total number of ladybugs.
  4. Have students place the correct number tile on the mat to show the answer.
  5. Encourage students to clear their mats and repeat the activity to get plenty of hands-on practice.

the preschool–kindergarten lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)




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