What are number bonds and why are they so important? Number bonds are a simple, easy to understand representation of the connection between addition and subtraction. Seeing the visual representation of two smaller numbers making a larger number, then investigating the relationship between the numbers greatly benefits students in their mental capacity as mathematicians. In this blog post, we will explore how number bonds can simplify teaching addition and subtraction in 1st and 2nd-grade classrooms, offering free resources that you can use for games, warm-ups, early finishers, and even a full lesson plan.
Understanding Number Bonds:
Number bonds are a visual representation of how numbers can be broken down into parts. They consist of a whole number and two parts that add up to the whole. For example, when looking at the number bond for 9, you would see the whole number 9 with two parts, such as 2 and 7, showing how they combine to make 9. Number bonds help students see the relationships between numbers and understand how addition and subtraction are interconnected.
The example below shows a card with the total of 7 and 2 missing. Students write the number 9 on the card our record in their workbooks.
Advantages of Teaching with Number Bonds:
Teaching Number Bonds to your class is a simple, easy and has lots of benefits. Some advantages of includes:
- Concrete Understanding: Number bonds provide a concrete way for students to see how numbers are composed and decomposed, helping them develop a deep understanding of addition and subtraction.
- Inverse Operations: Number bonds naturally introduce the concept of inverse operations. If a student knows that 3 + 4 = 7, they can also see that 7 – 4 = 3. This connection is vital for mastering arithmetic.
- Visual Learning: Number bonds use visual elements, which can be particularly helpful for visual learners and those who benefit from hands-on activities.
Learn more about Fact Families and the concept of 3 for Free.
Free Number Bond Resources:
To make teaching the connection between addition and subtraction easier and more engaging, I’ve created a resource that your students will love, be engaged in and will learn lots!
40 Addition and Subtraction task cards
Worksheet for students to demonstrate their understanding
Are you a teacher who is always looking for fun ways to engage your learners in tricky maths concepts? Download my FREE problem solving resource where your students will be solving worded problems in a breeze in no time!
Here’s a sample lesson plan to get you started:
Lesson Title: Exploring Number Bonds with Addition and Subtraction
Objective: Students will understand the relationship between addition and subtraction using number bonds.
Materials: Number Bond cards, number cards, worksheets, pencil
- Introduction (10 minutes): Begin by introducing the concept of number bonds. Draw a number bond on the whiteboard and explain how it represents a whole number broken into two parts. Use simple examples and ask students to identify the parts.
- Exploration (20 minutes): Distribute number bond cards to the students. Have them work in pairs or individually to solve the number bonds. Encourage discussions about how addition and subtraction are related. Students record in their workbooks. Students can also complete the worksheet included in my FREE resource.
- Interactive Activity (15 minutes): Use number cards to create a hands-on activity. Draw a number bond on the board and ask students to use the number cards to fill in the parts that make up the whole. Encourage them to swap the cards and explore different combinations.
- Group Discussion (10 minutes): Lead a class discussion about the connections students observed between addition and subtraction during the interactive activity. Ask them to share their findings and insights.
- Wrap-up (5 minutes): Summarize the key points of the lesson and emphasize the importance of number bonds in understanding addition and subtraction.
Number bonds are a powerful tool for teaching addition and subtraction in 1st and 2nd-grade classrooms. They offer a visual and intuitive way for students to grasp these fundamental mathematical concepts while also learning about inverse operations. By using this free resource you can make math learning enjoyable and effective for your students, setting them up for success in their mathematical journey.