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Lesson Plan #:AELP-ATH0003
Author: Lauren Evans, Su-Valley Junior/Senior High School, Talkeetna, Alaska Date: 1994

Grade Level(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


  • Mathematics/Arithmetic


Students are having trouble with CARRYING in ADDITION problems or:

students are slow when adding

students want to add faster and more accurately

students want to add without pencil and paper


This gives kids an alternative way of adding if they have trouble with ‘carrying’. It is also faster and more accurate for MOST kids.

I have all of the kids try this then ENCOURAGE the ones that have trouble with addition to use it all of the time.

The biggest problem is that a few kids think it is sort of cheating to use this method because it doesn’t follow the ‘rules’ of addition. Once convinced it is OKAY to use, they like it.

This also works for multiplying, but that’s another lesson.


Upon completion of this lesson, the student will be able to add correctly and quickly.


Paper, pencil, addition problems.

Examples in .pdf format; requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Click the icon to obtain the free Reader.

TYING IT TOGETHER: Do math problems and test the kids for speed and accuracy. I usually do a pretest without telling the kids why…having them time the test. I keep this and give it again a couple/three weeks later once they know the new method. They seldom are less accurate or take more time.

May 1994 These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center’s Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops.