I don’t know about you guys, but my mind has been racing lately. Education is just hard right now, ya’ll. There are no two ways about it.

So I have decided to really get back to the roots of why I got online a million years ago: reflect, share with the community “built” me, and just plain old to get better at my teaching.

A bit of background: I am currently first grade teaching virtually as a special education teacher with a general education teacher (co-teaching). Next week will be our last week of teaching remotely.  We will have a week of Fall Break (ALL the praise hands!) and then we will return in person on October 5th. We will be teaching students face to face and students that choose to go virtual simultaneously.  Currently, all of our assignments are completed using Seesaw (which I highly recommend).

Today I want to focus on adding and subtracting to 10. You can grab ALL the files (including the video links, seesaw links, and printables) discussed in this post FREE by clicking on the picture OR by clicking here.

I really feel like my co-teacher is just a MASTER at teaching with intention and knowing how concepts build on each other. Last year was my first year working with her (and teaching first grade), so I was a student right along with the kids.

I LOVE how she teaches addition and subtraction strategies.  She is very STEP BY STEP.  She does tons of guided practice with the kids.  I made these posters as visuals of the steps. When we taught each strategy, we used the posters to “check off” each step.

We started with counting on and it was so hard to teach virtually.  Being able to model, model, model helped as well as having the posters.

Next, we talked A WHOLE bunch about the number line.  I made this visual to help kids understand the numbers “grow” from left to right on the number line, just like a person grows from a baby to an adult. When you add, the answer will get bigger, so we will hop in the direction of the man.  When we subtract, the answer will get smaller so we hop in the direction of the baby.

We finally talked about the ten frame. This was much easier for kids, since we had recently finished teaching teen numbers and used a double ten frame frequently for this concept. Now that I think about it, I need to ask my co-teacher if we should START with this (instead of counting on) next year, because they lead easily into each other.

I made these two review sheets as homework to review the strategies.  I included the posters as an image to help kids (and parents) remember all the steps.  The first review is all addition and then the review is addition and subtraction.

I also recorded videos myself modeling the steps so we could send them to parents to help them understand that we are looking for much more than 2 + 2= 4.

I made this test in seesaw to assess all the strategies we have taught.  We were not able to teach all strategies (such as counting back) due to time, BUT we were able to expose kids to multiple strategies.  I also made a printable version you can grab in the freebie pack.

The kids will take the test the beginning of next week.  Fingers crossed they do well! Do you have any other suggestions or tips? I would love to hear your thoughts!