Addition to 10
Recently, I’ve talked with some people who are teaching their children reading and math, but didn’t understand the importance of speed and accuracy. One of the best ways to build speed is with flash cards. Get your flash cards out, purchase a set, or make your own. We’re going to drill!
Flash cards should probably be used around a 1st grade level, once your child understands the concept of addition. Begin with the 1’s plus another number. Sometimes, doubles up through 5’s are an easy concept for younger children. Then, begin adding in the 2’s. Counting by 2’s is one way to teach this concept. Don’t be tempted to add in new facts until the first ones are mastered and memorized. They should be quick with the correct answer without having to think about it. A card with the wrong answer, or a slow answer, gets moved to the back of the pack for another try. Add in other numbers until your child knows all addition through 10 quickly and accurately. Keep this activity positive and upbeat, not berating for wrong answers, but praising right ones.
Another method is to use timed tests. Produce your own tests using 20 problems and set the timer or your cell phone stopwatch for one minute (or 10 for 30 seconds). If your child is not able to do the 20 problems you’ve chosen that quickly, get the flash cards out again, drilling some more. Write down the time encouraging them to see if they can beat it next time. Keep the papers, letting them see their improvement over time. Timing puts a little more pressure on your child, but helps them see the importance of knowing the right answer, not guessing.
Generate your own timed tests here.
Or download a free speed test generator here.
Share your methods of teaching addition. Do you think speed is important?