Adding 3 Numbers

Gosh I love math. I loved learning it in school and I LOVE teaching it!! Especially when lessons just work. This week we tackled 3 digit addition which is always a tough concept. When we came to this lesson I had flashbacks to beating my head against the wall last year trying to get my kids to understand so I decided to go hands on and made these math mats.

I had them use 3 different colors to represent each part. It really helped them understand that they were combining 2 parts and then adding the third one.  (They also really loved sorting all their cubes into colors at their tables. One of my little boys just burst out "Oh I just LOVE sorting!!" haha). So first I gave them a problem and they set up their mat.

Next they chose 2 parts to combine, and wrote the number sentence on the bottom to represent the 2 parts they were adding next.

We did a few problems together and then I let them break out the dice. They rolled 3 dice, set up the problem and then went from there. The rolling of the dice instantly made it feel like a game and they were happily practicing for a good long time.

By the time we moved on to paper and pencil practice there were no tears (from me OR them), I didn't have 26 hands shooting up in the air, and pretty much everyone knocked it out in no time. Like I said I love math :)

You can download the mat here.

HAPPY FRIDAY FRIENDS!! :) I hope yall have a great weekend!!


  1. Thank you! I just love this - I know it will help my kids who struggle with this sometimes tricky concept!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  2. You surely know how to teach Math and even make students enjoy the subject! Sometimes it can confuse kids but I must say that your methods are simple enough for kids to easily understand and learn the process. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love how you had them combine and make 2 addends at the bottom. So simple but effective. I will be using this next week with my RTI group for sure! Thanks,

  4. Thank you so much for sharing! What perfect hands on practice that will surely benefit the students!! Awesome, simple for the kids to use and effective for sure!! Thank you again! I'm a student teacher and was struggling with how will I get my kids to grasp the concept while I'm being observed! thank you again!
    Student Teacher