So it’s time to teach your students 2-digit or 3-digit addition math strategies… which ones will you teach? Where do you start? Let’s break down 6 different addition math strategies you can use with your students, especially 2nd graders, all year long!
Before we begin, there’s one burning question I hear frequently: Should I teach addition math strategies without regrouping first?
The short answer is no, not necessarily! Before you ever start 2-3 digit addition, you need to make sure that your students have a solid place value foundation. As you’ll see in the 6 addition math strategies below, you can integrate problems with and without regrouping at the same time!
Six Addition Math Strategies to Teach
There are six addition math strategies that students should practice. As you teach these strategies, students will see some overlap between them, and that’s exactly what you want! They may tackle tough problems using a variety of strategies.
1.) Break Apart
Use place value to break down numbers into expanded form, then add them up! The example below does not have any regrouping, but this strategy can still be easily used with problems that require regrouping.
2.) Number Line
Start with the largest number. Then, make jumps to add the 2nd number. The example shows two jumps of 10, but if students are ready, they might make one single jump of 20 instead.
3.) Add in Chunks
This is just like the number line strategy, only you aren’t using a number line. Keep one number the same (typically the bigger number), then slowly add the 2nd number.
4.) Base Ten
Use base 10 models or drawings to add the numbers. Students should regroup the ones using their blocks or by circling ten ones.
The goal of this addition math strategy is to make the problem easier to solve! Students will make a friendly number (10, 20, 30, 40, etc.) by moving a few ones from one number to the other number.
6.) Standard Model
The last strategy is probably the one seen most frequently, but I prefer to spend more time on the first five strategies. Line up the addends vertically. Add the ones, then add the tens.
Resources to Help You Teach 2-3 Digit Addition
It can be difficult to find resources that include activities for students to practice these addition math strategies. That’s why I created this 2-3 digit addition unit! It includes posters and activities for many of these strategies!
Free Addition Strategies Chart
This one-page chart below is the perfect strategy sheet for your students to keep accessible. You can also use this to help you create your own anchor chart(s) with your students during mini-lessons!