Number line

Today we are going to be continuing with our work on adding and subtracting using a number line.

You can draw a number line on a piece of paper, or you can use something with numbers already printed on it like a ruler. If you are drawing one, which will also help with the writing of numbers, try to space out the lines as uniformly as possible.

Today, I am using a tape measure.

I am going to be doing the sum 5 + 2.

When you start, ask questions: Is it an adding or a take away sum? If you are adding, are the numbers getting larger or smaller? What number are you starting from?

Put a marker on the number you are to begin with. I am then using a Lego character to move forward along the number line. I am deliberately making my character face the way it is going.

I then jump/bounce/skip/move along the number line one number at a time until I reach my answer.

If I then do it for subtraction, I use the same questioning technique. This is so children grow accustomed to moving along the number line in the correct direction. It also gets them to look at the operator used, + or – , in case you decide to mix up the equations.

For the sum 3-2,  place your marker on the starting number and then move backwards along the number line until they reach the answer.


Here are some number line work sheets for you to work on.

number_lines_adding (2)


numberline addition

numberline subtraction


10 frame Lego

I find this lovely little YouTube video of constructing a ten frame out of Lego and then rolling a dice.

This is a great way for pupils to work on their spatial awareness as they have to ensure that all the spaces the same size and if the blocks fit into the spaces once complete.

In class, we originally taught the pupils to fill up the 10 frame from the top left corner along a row of five before started on the second row from the left. This was to improve their sight recognition and instant identification of amounts.

The other way would be to fill out the 10 frame as one above and below (so you are making pairs as you fill in the frame)

You can then complete addition and subtraction equations using your Lego ten frame.

If you have more Lego you could make two ten frames and then do some addition and subtraction using larger numbers.


Rain storm adding and subtracting

Here is a messy maths activity to complete.

Cut rain cloud shapes out of paper. On the clouds, write an adding sum. Underneath the cloud, create the raindrops by either drawing them or paint on your fingers! How big a thunderstorm can you make?

For subtraction, make skyscrapers. Write a subtraction sum at the top of the skyscraper. Then, draw square windows to represent the first number and then colour in/block out the ones you are taking away!

After you have completed your maths, you can add more detail to your cityscape!


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