Dot Cards for Practicing Addition and Subtraction Facts

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

Research indicates that fact fluency is critical to mathematical success.
“If appropriate development is undertaken in the primary grades, there is no reason that all children cannot master their facts by the end of grade 3.”  Van de Walle, 2006
In recent years, a growing body of research has documented that the skills and knowledge students learn in school is correlated with success later in life. In their landmark study showing the impact of basic skills on adult earnings, Richard Murnane and Frank Levy conclude, “mastery of skills taught in American schools no later than the eighth grade is an increasingly important determinant of subsequent wages.”  Tom Loveless, Brookings Institution
Practice to improve speed and accuracy should be used, but only under the right conditions; that is, practice with a cluster of facts should be used only after children have developed an efficient way to derive answers from those facts. NCTM 1989
     So basically, the question is not if, but how.  It is now widely accepted that traditional “drill and kill” is not the best way for most children to learn their basic facts.  Extensive work with concrete materials and real world contexts (word problems) help children understand the meaning behind addition and subtraction facts.  Strategies for connecting similar facts reinforce patterns and generalizations.
With that information in mind, I’m proud to announce my newest product, Add It Up! Dot Cards for Practicing Addition and Subtraction Facts.  Trust me, it’s been a labor of love!  The set includes over 200 cards for practicing addition and subtraction facts.  I hope you’ll check it out!


  1. Anonymous

    Love it! I teach 3rd grade, and when discussing mental math strategies, I brought up “doubles”, “doubles plus 1”, “ten buddies”, etc…. and my class had no idea what I was talking about! I have been teaching for 19 years, and I have always taught addition facts this way, and similarly, multiplication (teaching 2s then immediately teaching 4s as a double of 2s). I can’t believe that it’s not uniformally taught this way! Donna, you are wonderful!

    • Donna Boucher

      Old habits die hard, I think. Hopefully, the good news is spreading! 🙂

  2. Amy B

    This looks wonderful! Its on my wishlist!!! Thanks Donna!
    Amy Burton

    • Donna Boucher

      Glad you like it, Amy! I tried to get it done for my birthday sale this past week, but I just couldn’t get it finished.

    • Amy B

      Hopefully you were too busy celebrating!
      Amy 🙂

    • Donna Boucher

      There was some of that… 🙂

  3. Janine

    I think you have saved my life! I am always telling everyone how important dot cards are and I feel like I am an island out there somewhere! I am adding this to my wishlist today and I am sending my team the link so they can finally see that this is how we should be teaching our students.

    Thank you for this labor of love, I appreciate it very much.

    • Donna Boucher

      Ha ha! Thanks so much for your comment, Janine! Keep in mind that TpT now offers multiple licenses, so if your whole team wants the cards, additional licenses are half-price. That makes it very affordable for you all to have the same teaching resource.

  4. Cynthia

    I saw that you had been “boo’d” on Charlotte’s Blog, so I hopped right on over to read your latest post! 🙂

    2nd Grade Pad

    • Donna Boucher

      Welcome, Cynthia!

  5. Anonymous


    I LOVE your new pack, and all of your resources! I teach 1st, and in my district we use Everyday Math. Unfortunately, there are not lessons on a lot of these strategies. Do you recommend spending a lesson on each of these strategies before the children are introduced to these cards?




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