May 26, 2013

Toothpick Math, Adding 3 Addends, and Summer Centers

4 MORE DAYS LEFT OF SCHOOL?!?! Hard to believe... Here is an open-ended math activity called “Toothpick Math!” Students use toothpicks, glue, and markers to represent a number model in a unique, abstract way. I modeled some examples, as this activity can be hard for students to visualize. The goal is to create an image that represents the number model (in other words not just putting down the number of toothpicks to equal the sum). After the students glued down their number model, they went back and made their constructions into pictures. 
Here is representation of 4+4=8

and 5+2=7 [the trapezoid represents 5, the roof shows 2]

also 5+5=10 and 4+3=7 [I modeled a fence picture... it is easiest to "see" the number model]

Teaching how to solve for 3 or more addends? I reviewed with my students how to look for numbers that add to 10 and double facts. We drew our "tree branches" (our fancy way of saying number stems) to successfully add 3 or more addends! I had students use their hundreds charts if need be. We circled our final answers too.

This is 1 of 8 literacy centers at work in my classroom in the Sweet Summertime packet! I only have had one download so Click the pictures to go to the TPT Store. Here's a preview!


  1. Hi Britney! I love your toothpick math activity - very cute! I just found your blog through HBBD, they designed my blog too. I'm your newest follower! Looking forward to your posts!

    Science for Kids Blog

    1. Hi Susan! I love your blog- Your poison ivy charts are adorable!
      Thank you for the comment & happy following! (:

  2. I love you toothpick math activity. What a great idea!

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  3. I found you through instagram! Cute math activity! I hope you are enjoying your summer!
    Two Friends In First

    1. Hi Kheila! I LOVE Instagram... Happy Following! (:


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