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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Addition Double Facts

When I am working with first, second and third graders on addition fact fluency, one of the first things I push for is fluency with the double facts.  There are always some kids in any class that struggle with these so I make them a custom set of flash cards with picture clues to help them.

Here is a set I made for a group of second graders I work with.  The facts they were struggling with were 6+6, 7+7, 8+8, and 9+9.

I give them either 2 bead sticks or a 2 string rekenrek (you can also take a picture of them with the virtual number rack).  This day we were using 2 string rekenreks so that is what you will see in the pictures.

I chose 1 student to model each addition fact on their number rack and take their picture holding the number rack with the fact modeled.

Here are a few close ups of what I mean
This student is showing 7+7.  See how the rekenrek helps students see  different ways to  calculate the answer.
This student is showing 9+9

Then I print the pictures and use sheets of construction paper to create a large set of flash cards.  Fold the paper in half the hamburger way and glue the picture inside.  On the outside, write the fact on the front and the answer on the back.  

Front View

Inside View
Back View

Front and back of another card

Inside view

I show students the flash cards and if they don't come up with an answer within 3 seconds, I show them the picture for a few seconds to remind them of the visual image.  After a few days of using these for a couple of minutes per day, there is a great increase in students' ability to recreate the image themselves and figure out the answer without peeking at the picture or counting on.  It really helps them transition from using a counting strategy to using a thinking strategy.


  1. I really like my class set of rekenreks. We use them a lot when we get into addition and subtraction. I like how you took the pics to use as visuals.
    Barbara @
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

    1. They are so useful! I like the visual image because it seems to help kids who have a hard time visualizing the rekenreks in their mind.

  2. So so so good. I'm loving this. I plan on introducing rekenreks next week too.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First