Addition Strategies

The provincial math curriculum encourages students to learn a variety of addition and subtraction strategies. We hope that “playing wiht numbers and manipulating numbers” in a variety of ways provides more opportunities for students to develop a deeper understanding of number sense and what they are actually doing when they add, not just “getting the right answer”. The grade 2 curriculum includes several adding to 100 strategies. We spend a lot of time using manipulatives to introduce children to the strategies and helping them understand the process before actually doing the questions on paper.

Following is a brief description of the strategies we have learned so far. I will send a paper copy of this note home on Friday as well…encourage your child to “teach” you this strategy, since it is very different than the way you and I were taught. 🙂

1. Adding Tens– 36+40=76 : I know that in the number 36 there are 3 tens and 6 ones. I just need to add 4 more tens to the 3 that I already have and the ones stay the same.

2. Adding Tens and then Ones– 36+47=83 : I know that 3 tens + 4 tens is 7 tens and that 6 ones +7ones is 13 ones so I now have 70+13. Then I just need to add the tens.


When I send the paper copy of the note home on Friday it will show the thinking that the children need to show me on their papers. I don’t just want to see the answer…I need them to show me how they figured it out.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about these strategies. I will let you know each time we learn a new one. Please continue to work on basic math facts. A solid understanding of the basic facts makes these strategies easier for the children to understand.

Thanks for your support!