The Using Doubles Strategy for Addition - Math Coach's Corner

Using a strategy-based approach helps students master their back addition and subtraction facts. One such strategy for tackling those harder facts, like 7 + 8, is the Using Doubles strategy. Students often easily learn their doubles (2 + 2, 3 + 3, 4 + 4, etc.). If your kiddos are still learning their doubles, check out this post for a fun kinesthetic way to practice.

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The Using Doubles strategy involves decomposing one addend to make a double with the other addend.  For example 7 + 8 is the same as 7 + 7 plus 1 more. Double ten frames are great for exploring the strategy. Have students build each addend on a different ten frame using two-color counters. For example, 7 + 8 would look like this:

You can download a ten frame template here.

After you’ve introduced the strategy and students have had a chance to work with manipulatives to understand the strategy, it’s time for a little independent practice! This little freebie includes a set of workstation cards and an “I Can ” card for student directions. Have students record their work in their math journal for accountability and for a quick formative assessment.

Grab your freebie here! 🙂

Check out this post for a similar FREE activity for using the Make a Ten strategy.

And if you’re looking for a great resource for strategy-based fact instruction, try this book:


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