Strategies for Addition (Freebie!)

We are up to our elbows in addition AND subtraction.  According to the new Common Core Standards the traditional algorithm is a fourth grade standard (CCSS.Math.Content.4.NBT.B.4 Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.). We wanted to make sure we offered students SEVERAL strategies for addition and subtraction so that the algorithm actually makes SENSE rather than becomes a rote task with no meaning.

One strategy we using to teach addition is the open number line.  This is a great strategy that transfers REALLY well to subtraction. The difference between an open number line and a closed number line is that an open number line has no numbers on it- students create and write the number line starting and ending at whatever number they need.

Parents are often VERY confused at all this "new-fangled" math as it is very different from what we learned as children. I created this handout to help teach parents.

It is part of a  "How to Add on an Open Number Line" pack I created. The pages gradual teach adding with the open number line using multiples of 10 nad then moving on to adding with regrouping.

The description of this product is:
     The open number line is a wonderful way to teach addition AND subtraction.  However, we always start with addition first in our classroom. 
This packet includes “how to directions” on page 4 for parents, but is also a reference sheet for teachers.
This packet gives students practice adding two digits with and without regrouping using a gradual release.  Students begin adding only multiples of tens and gradually work to adding two digits with grouping.
This packet includes:
  • How to Add Using an Open Number Line Directions
  • Adding Two Addends that are Multiples of Tens with Hints
  • Adding Two Addends that are Multiples of Tens Without Hints
  • Adding with One Addend being a Multiple of Ten With Hints
  • Adding with One Addend being a Multiple of Ten Without Hints
  • Adding with Two Digits With Hints

Answer keys are included

It is only $3.00 in my store!  Click here to pick it up!

I am working on several packs just like this- strategies for addition and subtraction BESIDES the traditional algorithm.   I am currently working on a pack that uses the hundreds chart to teach addition with 1,2,3, and 4 addends!

Click here for this great pack of FREE math centers, plus get tips and updates from me!



  1. Loooove the open number line!! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. What a GREAT resource! Can't wait to purchase. Looking forward to the hundred's chart pack you create! That would be perfect for my 2nd graders!!! Oh and easy for me to have. ;-) Thanks for your generous freebie! Your stuff always rocks.

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  4. Just what I've been looking for! Thank you!!

  5. Do you also have directions for subtracting on the open number line?

  6. Yes, do you have one for subtraction, identical to this one but just going backwards on the number line?


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