How to Add with Regrouping Tips Tricks

We’re excited to share how to add with regrouping today!  These tips and tricks have really helped Big Sister with her homework this year.  First grade math has a lot of new concepts.  We’ve been practicing math through play with a few new ways to practice math.  We made this regrouping activity for some homework that was a little difficult for a new adder!

Make a paper door to introduce concepts in first grade math like regrouping in addition.

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What is Regrouping

Regrouping in math is borrowing or caryying a digit to aid in a math operation.  In addition (which we are doing now in first grade math), digits from the ones column are carried to the tens column to add single or double digits.  

Tips and Tricks for Regrouping

There are several ways to practice regrouping, including using manipulatives, hundreds charts, a number line, ten blocks (such as legos or Unifix Cubes ).  We love using manipulatives in hands-on math.  Using something like beans, children can add a fact like 7+8.  Start by using a number line to count out the answer.  Using blocks or ten frames, make two piles of blocks, one pile with 7 blocks and one with 8.  Using the blocks, group a row of 10 with the 7 blocks and three of the blocks from the 8 pile. That means there will be 5 blocks left over.  Show the child that when combined with regrouping, they have a tens column of blocks and 5 ones blocks.  Explain that they’ve made 15 total blocks.  

You can regroup a single or double digit by writing the problem vertically.  This is the part where Big Sister had a little trouble.  We explained that she can add the ones column first and carry the one over to the tens column.  This was very tricky for her and a huge challenge!   

 Adding with Regrouping Activity

My husband had the idea to tell her something her remembered from adding as a kid.  When she carried the number over to the tens column, she could say “Knock on the door, carry it next door.”  He showed her how to knock on the table as she carried the tens over to the next column.  This physical act really helped her remember to regroup.  

To give her a visual reminder for carrying the tens, I made her a door for her to practice math problems.  I folded a piece of  brown cardstockand added a little circle of yellow cardstock for a doorknob. Cut a rectangle for the opening of the door and you’ve got a door for knocking on.

We’ve been making sheet after sheet of math problems and practicing “Knock on the door, carry it next door”.  It finally clicked for her and she keeps asking for more math sheets.   Ummmm, ok!  It is so neat to see your child “get” a concept.  I love seeing her knock on the table quietly when she’s plowing through a math homework sheet!

Need more creative ways to practice first grade math?  Try these:

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