Tiny Tim’s Maths Tips – Year 1 and 2 Addition

Children understand addition best when it is taught alongside subtraction. Furthermore learning is better if given  a context as mathematical concepts are difficult to grasp without them. For younger children counting people and objects (toys, buttons etc.) and questions such as ‘There are three children at a table and two more sit down. How many now?’ leading to older children’s understanding of ‘A drink costs 56p and an apple 24p. How much do they cost altogether?’ provide children a reason for learning addition. Calculation methods are taught and learnt to be used to solve problems such as these.

As with subtraction, children first need to use ‘concrete‘ resources, such as cubes, and will physically combine and touch them to find the total. (Slides 1 and 2)


Children then start creating their own informal ways of recording this. (Slides 3 and 4)

As children experience ‘100 squares’ and ‘number lines’, they are able to count to higher numbers they use these to support their calculating skills. Children learn to  count forwards, ‘one more‘ (and later ‘ten more‘), and use given ‘number lines‘ to solve addition. (Slides 5 and 6)

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