What Does the Box Say? Missing Addends

In everything, I'm a planner.  My friends will tell you I'm OCD about it.  My husband would tell you I plan too much.  In my opinion, you can't over plan....

BUT, despite my obsessive planning, I've always done my best teaching "in the moment."  I plan out my lessons to a "T"--don't get me wrong.  But my most {genius} ideas have come after the planning and during the teaching when something just hits me all of a sudden! I honestly hate that it happens this way because I don't always have the perfect materials I need to sufficiently do what I've spontaneously thought up...

Almost two weeks ago, we were doing our normal Math Wall.  We were doing the true/false page, but I had changed it to write an equation with a box in the middle position { 1 + __ =  5 }.  I said, "When I read this equation, I read, 'one plus box equals 5.' Who can tell me what number I should say for the box to make it a true equation?"  Almost instantly, one of my sweetheart boys that just cannot contain himself when an exciting thought comes to mind {you know the ones I'm talking about!} shouted in his best singing voice, "What does the box say?"  We all laughed out loud.  For a long time.  It was one of the funniest moments I've had as a teacher in 8 years!  In case you've been under a rock the last several months and missed the YouTube viral music video, "What Does the Fox Say?" then here you go...

But then I realized just how genius that was.  Once we all settled down {literally minutes later!}, we solved for box and continued to play.  I wrote an equation on the board and sang, "What does the box say?" My firsties went *N*U*T*S* over this game.  We all know this was the same game we had played earlier in the year, but that day {and since then} it has been so much more engaging for my kids!

So, I decided to create a packet of printables based on my sweetheart's genius blurt out idea.

I should back up and say that, in general, I'm completely against worksheets that are just passed out for students to complete.  That's why I don't have a lot of packets of straight up "worksheets" or "printables" in my TPT store.  I went to great lengths to make sure that there is a purpose behind each of these pages.  My main focus was setting up the equations in a sequence that would lead students to a better understanding of relationships between numbers and equations and also the properties of operations.  The properties of operations (commutative property and associative property) pop up ALL OVER the Common Core Standards in most grades, starting in first grade.  This is one of the hardest things for my students to apply in their math story problems.  Sure, they can see commutative property (flip flop facts) fairly easily with guidance, but it takes a while before some of my firsties can apply that knowledge in the story problems and start adding with the bigger number, even when it is the last number in the story {Ex: Bob bought 1 pencil.  Then he bought 9 more.  How many does he have in all? 9+1=10}

You will notice the equations on these pages seem like to us that they are in an "obvious" pattern.  3+__=4 comes right before __+3=4.  But it is not obvious to kids that do not think relationally about numbers.  The thought is...expose them to enough of these facts that are side by side and eventually they will begin to develop and see the relationships between the equations.

I also included addition sentences with 3 addends to allow for the development of the associative property.  For example, I am hoping that in order to solve for 1+__+1=5, that students might say, "I know 1+1=2 so 3 more is 5," or reassociate like this: (1+1)+__=5.

To also keep this from being, just a low-level, non-thinking worksheet, I also added duplicate worksheets with a "show me your thinking" box.  This is where students can practice notating how they solved for box, whether that's a picture of how they counted on their fingers, or a string of equations they thought relationally about to solve for box.  This allows for higher order thinking, in the same way that open-ended math story problems do and allows the kids to show their understanding of the properties of operations.

Okay, enough of all of that math junkie stuff....

Included in this packet are 35 printables total: 11 addition pages, 11 subtraction pages, 11 pages of both addition and subtraction and 2 pages of adding 3 addends.  Each set has pages with only the beginning or middle or end missing.  Each set also has pages with a mixture of beginning, middle and end missing.  There are two types for most of the pages: a page with only solving for box and a page with solving for box and showing your thinking.  Each page has a color by number (odd/even) option at the bottom.  All pages have a number in the bottom right corner which orders the pages from easiest to hardest {in my opinion.}

The Common Core Math skills that are focused on in this packet are:
*solving for unknowns in any position (first grade)
*using the properties of operation to solve addition and subtraction equations (first and second grade)
*begin to develop place value or ten-ness by adding and subtracting numbers to make 10, like 2+8=10 and 10-2=8. (kindergarten and first grade)
*doubles and doubles plus one (first and second grade)

If you would like to download a preview and {{{{FREEBIE}}}}, click on the link and download the preview file which includes a freebie of the printables.

Sometimes the best teaching ideas come from those spur-of-the-moment moments during our lessons!


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