We recently finished up our unit on Properties of Addition. This is always a tough unit for kids.  While they are able to add – being able to identify the properties and figure out missing numbers has always been challenging.
Below is the anchor chart we created together the first day after exploring each property using a balance scale…see below.
I saw the balanced scale idea online.  Using unifix cubes/snap cubes you can show each property and the balance scale is perfect because it shows how things are equal no matter what order they are done in.  The picture below shows the Associative Property.  We had (4+2) + 3 on one side and then (3+2) + 4 on the other. We discussed how both equals 9 and the scale is balanced because it’s the same sum. This then led to the chart discussion about how it doesn’t matter which way you group the numbers you’re adding – the sum will still be the same.
After learning the three properties, I had students practice whole group. I projected my Properties of Addition Practice (a freebie in my TPT store) on the board and students responded to the questions on their individual white boards.
Below’s slide is asking them to identify which property is shown in the equation…
This slide is asking them to find the missing number that goes in the blank.  We talk a lot about how you want to look and see which numbers are there and which one is missing. Since you see 2 on the other side and not 5 – 5 must be the missing number to make this equation equal.
If Properties of Addition is something you teach – check out my freebie! Great way for kids to practice this skill whole group.

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