Structuring Numbers to 5

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
School is out for the year and I have another month before heading back to school, but I am teaching summer school and it definitely brought me back! I taught 5th grade this past school year and LOVED the change from 2nd. This summer, I was placed in a math course for incoming 1-2 graders....big change, but lots of fun!

With the incoming 1st graders, we are working on structuring numbers to 5. I want them to understand how 5 is made in various ways. Here are a few easy, low-prep ways I've used to teach structuring numbers to 5.

Unifix Cubes to Build 5
I give students an amount of cubes 0-5 in one color. I then ask the student how many more they need to build 5. The student finds that many cubes in another color and snaps the cubes together to make 5. For example, I give them 2 and they find 3 to snap together.

Color in the Boxes
I took a regular piece of paper and folded it a few times to make boxes. In each box, I would give students an amount of a shape. They would have to finish that box by drawing in how many more they needed to make 5.

Make 5 Matching
Take Ace-4 out of a deck of cards. Put the cards facing down and have students search for pairs that make 5 (e.g. A and 4, 2 and 3). Whoever has the most pairs, wins.

Interactive Notebook Pages
You can find a great interactive notebook activity HERE using 5 frames. Students will write the equation that matches the 5 frame under the flap.

5 Frames
Print off some 5 frames - easily found on the Internet or through clip art on Teachers Pay Teachers. You can use these to discuss how many are there and how many are missing on each 5 frame. You can also flash the 5 frames to the students and they will have to tell you what they see. Below you will see students using Unifix cubes to fill in the remainder of the 5 frame to make 5.

How do you teaching structuring numbers to 5?


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