Lesson 4

Add and Subtract Your Way

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to add and subtract within 20 in a way that makes sense to them.

Lesson Narrative

The work in this lesson builds from grade 1, where students add and subtract within 20 with different strategies. This is a chance to formatively assess how students find sums and differences in this range. Connecting cubes organized in towers of 10 and singles should be made available for students to use, however encourage students not to use them if they don’t need them. By the end of grade 2, students must fluently add and subtract within 20.

Math Community
Tell students that, at the end of the lesson, they will be asked to identify specific examples of norms they experienced as they did math.

  • Action and Expression
  • MLR2

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Add and subtract within 20 in a way that makes sense to them.

Student Facing

  • Let’s add and subtract within 20.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • How Close? Stage 1 Recording Sheet

Required Preparation

CCSS Standards


Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 20 min
Activity 2 15 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

By the end of grade 2, students must be fluent with addition and subtraction within 20, including knowing all sums of 2 one-digit numbers by memory. What did you learn about your students during today’s activities that will help you prepare all students to meet this standard?

Suggested Centers

  • Number Puzzles: Addition and Subtraction (1–4), Stage 1: Within 10 (Supporting)

Print Formatted Materials

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Student Task Statements pdf docx
Lesson Cover Page pdf docx
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Teacher Presentation Materials pdf docx
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