Number Bonds for Number Sense

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Honestly, there was a time when I hated number bonds because I didn’t understand them or how to make students understand them. Obviously, I don’t feel that way anymore!

Now I LOVE number bonds because they are such an easy way to expand students’ number sense and help them decompose numbers. This is one of those skills that I cover multiple times a year and build on as our math experience grows.

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This is the anchor chart that I used to introduce number bonds. I also have the exact same thing in a SMART board file so we can practice number bonds digitally.

I did not have the addition and subtraction problems on there the first time I introduced number bonds! Like I said, we revisit this skill multiple times throughout the year, so once I had introduced addition and subtraction, I went back and showed my students how they can turn a number bond into an addition or subtraction problem.

If you want anchor charts you can print off or display on a screen, you can grab them free by clicking on the pictures:

 

This is also when I introduced Turn-Around Facts, which I will show you later on in this post!

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When i’m introducing number bonds, I like to use different manipulatives as the parts to keep engagement high. They are also easy to move back and forth from the parts to the whole, so students can really see how the parts make up the whole.

Besides counting bears, I like to use playdough, mini-erasers, counting chips, and little toys I get from Dollar Tree. Basically anything to make it feel new and exciting!

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Having student physically swap out one manipulative for another and changing the parts is an easy, concrete way to show them that there are different ways to decompose a number.

You can get this mat as a freebie by clicking on the picture:

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Once we begin addition, we will use this mat to come up with all the different ways we can add to get a certain number:

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Another great way to practice making number bonds is with dice:

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Just roll 2 dice for the parts and count the dots for the whole. I like to have my students color-code just to reinforce that the dice are making the parts.

You can get this recording sheet as a freebie by clicking on the picture:

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I also like to use dominoes:

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These are what I use when I introduce Turn-Around Facts:

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It’s super easy to turn the domino around and show that the parts may change places, but they still make the same whole!

Do you have any great ideas for teaching number bonds? I’d love to hear about them!

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