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How To Teach Addition to 5 With Addition Sentences and Model Matching

In this article, I will be showing you how to teach concrete model matching to addition sentences.

The lesson is segmented into the following five categories

  1. Introduction

  2. Guiding question

  3. Teacher modeling

  4. Independent practice

  5. Assessment

Hi, my name is Bran Hicks from Teach Tastic publishing where we write scaffolded and differentiated math intervention lessons for teachers just like you.


Review academic vocabulary: First, start with reviewing academic vocabulary

  • addition sentence

  • addition model

  • concrete

Discuss: Start with three orange cubes and two blue cubes connected and an addition sentence of three and two equals five three plus two equals.

Display three orange cubes together on the table and two blue cubes linked together next to them shows students clearly they are connecting the two into one that’s the two and one is concept with the plus and equals now being represented right the corresponding addition sentence three plus two equals five a scrap piece of paper

Or if you like mine, you can do laminated sticky notes to have a more accessible Templates Available Here

The main point of the introduction is simply to show the students that a concrete model of four and one and four and one is matching that concrete model to the addition sentences.

The goal is to remove the concrete model eventually, so I displayed different colors for different variations three times on the tabletop.

Guiding Question

Now you want to read the guiding question to the students: How does an addition sentence show the same thing as a concrete model?

Let the students talk and share about the previous knowledge of addition and the concept of putting two objects together to form a sum.

Teacher Modeling

Now we've reached the point of the lesson where we will start teacher modeling. This is the process of “I say, they say, we show,” so it is good to practice and make it your own rather than read a cold script.

In the lesson plan, it is written out in the format:

  • say

  • show

  • listen

Say: There are two orange cubes and one blue cube together. What addition sentence would I be modeling?

Listen: Two plus one equals three.

Say: This addition model shows two cubes first, so the first number of our addition sentence would be, and then there is one cube so that would be our second number in our addition sentence, so I was a how that works.

Show: An addition model has two cubes, then three cubes say cubes to I have in all

Listen: five

Show: Break the model apart and separate by color

Say: How many cubes do I have in the first group?

Listen: Two

Show: How many cubes do I have in the second group?

Listen: Three

Show: Put the addition model back together, then write the addition sentence two plus three equals five on a piece of paper and place it next to the model. Point back and forth between the numbers and cubes so that the students are making connections from object to number representation.

Say: This addition model matches this addition sentence

Say: Here are two questions I want each of you to think about in the next part of this lesson

How many objects do I have in each group or color?

Does the addition sentence make sense when you count the cubes in the model?

Independent Work Time

Read the worksheet instructions aloud, reminding the students that the highlighted words are vocabulary or instruction words. Then, ask the students to read the highlighted words back to you and define their meaning. Students may complete the differentiated worksheet with or without manipulative assistance based on the current level of understanding in this particular worksheet.

Teacher Tip - Pre-print your teaching visuals

Have pre-printed sticky notes ready and available for demonstrating the addition sentences.

If you are interested in making 3 Easy laminated DIY teaching tools for math addition to five, check out the video below.


The summative assessment worksheet is differentiated. It contains skills-specific questions, large fonts, and graphics highlighted learning text of proficiency scale for fast feedback and a star in the top corner.

The proficiency scale is a four-tier model.

  1. Beginning

  2. Practicing

  3. Emerging

  4. Proficient

For more content like this and to view complementary videos, you can look us up on YouTube @The Differentiated Classroom and subscribe to get notified when we post new content.

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