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9 FUN Ways to Teach Doubles Addition Facts in First Grade

doubles-addition-facts

Teaching doubles addition facts to first graders is a big deal! It’s the next step from learning counting on addition facts. Unlike the counting on facts that have a thinking strategy, the doubles addition facts are ones that students just need to memorize. Let me show you 9 engaging and fun ways to teach doubles addition facts in first grade, and be confident that your students will understand this new skill afterward!

What are Doubles Facts?

Before you teach your students this new skill, you need to be clear on it yourself! Here’s a quick refresh:

Doubles facts are when a number is added to itself.

Examples:

1+1 = 2

3 + 3 = 6

4 + 4 = 8

8 + 8 = 16

The Significance of Teaching Doubles Addition Facts to First Graders

Teaching doubles addition facts to first graders is an extremely important milestone. Doubles addition facts need to be memorized because they will become foundational information for other math strategies that definitely do require thinking (like near doubles!)

Number Sense

Learning these facts also leads to building a stronger number sense. When students understand how numbers are related to each other, they have better math reasoning and problem-solving skills!

Mental Math Strategies

As students learn basic math facts like these doubles facts, they grow their ability to complete mental math! They become more able to solve similar problems more quickly and accurately in their heads. 

This is so important for math fluency!

Preparation for Higher-Level Math

We won’t get too far ahead of ourselves here, but it is important to know that learning doubles addition facts is a stepping stone for tackling high-level math problems. As students internalize these facts, they are establishing essential groundwork for understanding number patterns, relationships, and more complex math operations.

When students have a solid foundation of math skills, they can approach more difficult problems with confidence later on!

How to Teach Doubles Addition Facts

Make doubles facts a part of your teaching routine so students really understand this new skill. This will ensure consistent practice is happening and reinforces students are making vital learning connections. 

When you decide to make these facts a normal part of your classroom routine, it really takes the pressure off of everyone! You aren’t worried that you missed something in the one-time lesson introduction. Students aren’t overwhelmed with a vast amount of new information. 

Knowing you will revisit the teaching concept frequently throughout the day allows you to confidently break down the information into manageable chunks and differentiate as needed!

Employ multimodal learning strategies by incorporating helpful visuals into your classroom decor like these double addition facts posters to reinforce learning.

Finally, use engaging and interactive activities to make learning fun! Never underestimate the impact true hands-on FUN will have on your first graders.

Activities to Teach Doubles Addition Facts

Use these 9 activities to make teaching this complex new skill a breeze (both for you and your students!).

1. Doubles Chant

Use your Doubles posters to practice doubles addition facts each morning with your students. Recite the facts together and add movements to make learning interactive and impactful.

doubles-addition-facts-posters

This is a great way to make learning a part of your daily teaching routine! 

2. Double Day Hat

Plan a special “Double Day” to practice these facts in an extra fun way! 

double-day-hat-for-kids-doubles-addition-facts

Use the Double Day hat and have students solve each double fact. Cut out the hat and staple it to a sentence strip or piece of bulletin board border.

Repeat these activities each month on the “Double Day” for even more reinforcement:

September 9th (9/9)

October 10th (10/10)

November 11th (11/11)

& so on! 

If having a specific Double Day doesn’t fit into your schedule, no worries! This activity is perfect for any time.

*The rest of these games and activities can be played using cards from the FREE Doubles Addition Facts FREEZE Game.

3. Math FREEZE

Math FREEZE is a fantastic game to play with your students to get them moving as they learn!

How to Play:
  • Give each child one doubles card.
  • Play music as children walk around the room and trade cards. When you pause the music, everyone must FREEZE. Read a “Who Has” card, such as “who has 8?”
  • Anyone holding a 4+4 cards wins that round.
  • Play the music and continue the next round. No one is ever out!
  • Use the worksheets to reinforce learning after the game. 

Double Fun Fact: Over 50,000 teachers have downloaded FREEZE for their classroom!

4. Fashion Facts

Next up– Fashion Facts! Grab your cards from the free Doubles FREEZE game, and you’re ready to go.

How to Play:
  • Give each child one card. 
  • Tape the cards onto each child’s shirt or put cards on lanyards. 
    • Using lanyards saves a lot of time, and you can play again and again! 
  • Children walk around the room while writing and solving the problems shown on each other’s shirts/lanyards
  • They can write the words on a dry erase board or on the matching recording sheet.

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5. Math and Move Doubles

Engage your students in learning through this exciting Math & Move Doubles Addition Game. It’s simple and so much fun!

How to Play:
  • Show the problem on the board.
  • Everyone solves it independently.
  • After each student checks their answer, they do the corresponding movement!


This game is perfect for intentional brain breaks in your classroom routine!

6. Math Merry Go Round

Using your free Adding Doubles FREEZE cards, play Math Merry Go Round! 

How to Play:
  • Lay the cards in a circular shape on the floor.
  • Students stand on the outside of the circle behind one of the cards
  • Play music and students walk around the circle with a dry erase board
  • When you stop the music, everyone must solve the word in front of them 
  • Students can write the problem on a dry erase board or the matching recording sheet. 
  • Play the music and repeat until your heart is content!

 

7. Roll and Solve

The next game is sure to become a student favorite! Students get to roll large cubes as they play Roll and Solve. 

roll-and-solve-doubles-addition-facts-game
How to Play:
  • Slide the doubles addition cards into a cube with clear pockets.
  • Students roll for a problem.
  • They write the problem down then and solve it. 
  • For an added step, they can use the equation in their own word problem. 

8. Heads Up!

Students can also practice their doubles addition facts as they play Heads Up! 

How to Play:
  • Students sit together as you hold a stack of expression cards upside down
  • You flip one card to your forehead without looking, and students solve the card aloud
  • You say the doubles fact and check it 
  • Keep flipping cards or let a student come up for a turn as “the teacher”

This game can also be played with partners or in a small group with students rotating who gets to flip cards and who solves the doubles fact equation.

9. Solve the Room

For the final doubly-fun doubles facts game, it’s time to Solve the Room!

solve-the-room-math-doubles-addition-facts
How to Play:
  • Hang adding doubles equation cards around the classroom
  • Children walk around with a clipboard as they write and solve the problems on the matching recording sheet

By understanding the importance of teaching doubles addition facts to first graders and equipping yourself with so many FUN ways to teach them, you’re creating a more effective and enjoyable learning experience and laying a solid math foundation for their futures!

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Emily Yerty

Emily Yerty

I’m a teacher who believes in creating a classroom kids love and activities that keep them engaged all day!

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