Based on Zoe Donoahue’s Mathematics Lesson

Curriculum – Number Sense and Numeration

Students begin to solve problems involving the addition and subtraction of single-digit whole numbers using a variety of strategies.


Students should have previous experience with doubles. Students and the teacher begin by sitting on the floor in a circle.


  • Whiteboard and marker
  • Set of doubles from 0 + 0 to 12 + 12 for each student


  • Ask students to tell you a double. For example, 2 + 2 = 4.
    • As students begin to list doubles, have them explain how they got the answer. Students will list different strategies.
  • Keep going until the class has listed all the doubles from zero to 12.


  • Once all the doubles have been listed, tell students you will be giving them their own set of double cards from zero to twelve and that their job is to organize the cards in a way that makes sense to them.
  • Hand the cards out and give students time to organize their cards. It is okay if they look to the children beside them for ideas.
  • After students have had a chance to organize their cards, go around and ask students how they have organized their cards. Ask students to notice any other patterns.
    • Common examples include 0 + 0 = 0, 1 + 1 = 2, 2 + 2 = 4, etc.; all the odd questions on one side and all of the even questions on the other side.
    • Note that students are strongly encouraged to organize the cards in whatever way they want. There is no right or wrong way to organize them.
  • After students have explained to you why they have organized their cards a certain way, have them write out the doubles in the same way they organized them in their math notebooks. This gives you the opportunity to come back to it and becomes another meaningful way for students to practice counting doubles.


  • Bring the class back together and go through each different way students organized their cards. This gives students a chance to see other ways their classmates have organized the doubles.