Fluently add and subtract within 5.





Children need to develop fluency (quickly and with accuracy) for solving addition and subtraction problems within 5. At this stage, students should be able to do problems like 3 + 2 or 5 - 1 without needing manipulatives, drawings, strategies, etc. Students should be familiar enough with the facts (or able to count quickly on fingers, for example) to solve problems like these quickly.


Understanding the Standard:


  • Guide students through a variety of methods for solving addition and subtraction problems within 5, and provide opportunities for children to understand what happens to all numbers when 1, 2, 3, and 4 are added to or subtracted from them. While the correct answer is important, students need to feel comfortable in solving for the answer in the way that makes the most sense to them while also having knowledge and practice with other strategies.
  • Address the fact families up to 5 in both addition and subtraction. Knowing the fact families helps with fluency in problem-solving.
  • Manipulatives and visuals should be limited at this point because students who have to use them with facts up to five are not building fluency (the point of this standard).


Questions to Focus Instruction:


  • Have students been exposed to fact families within 5 that will help them go beyond counting fingers?
  • Have students had opportunites to explore and investigat how to solve addition and subtraction sentences up to 5?
  • Can students draw pictures or use manipulatives to help justify the reasonableness of the answers for sums up to 5?
  • Can students add and subtract within 5 quickly and accurately?
  • Do students understand that addition is “adding to” or “counting on” and that subtraction is the “taking apart” of the fact families of 5?


Prior to:
Students are able to draw or  manipulate objects to make sets of 5.

At Grade Level:
Students can add and subtract fluently (quickly and easily) through 5.

Moving Beyond: Students will demonstrate fluency in solving addition and subtraction problems through 10 or beyond.  Go to 1.OA.C.6 to see the progression of related skills.