How to Teach Doubles in First Grade
A math double is the process of adding a number to itself. A math double is a simple addition process that many children learn in the first grade. Teaching these doubles to children helps them perform more quickly in math and prepares them for harder math in the future. Learning doubles is largely a matter of memorizing the answers, and many methods are available. Using a multi-step approach is the best way to ensure that a child, regardless of learning style, learn the best procedure to answer easily any doubles problem.
Introduce the concept of doubles to the children on the first day. Explain that doubles are the process of adding a number to itself. Do not introduce the concept of doubles until the children have mastered the concept of basic addition. Use manipulatives to help the children visualize the concept of doubles. Place one manipulative on one side of the table and one on the other side. Explain to the children that this is a doubles problem. Continue to show the children different sets of doubles visually. Allow the children to make doubles from the manipulatives themselves.
Have the children act out "The Ants Go Marching" song. Explain to the children that this is a song about doubles. Divide the room in half with a line made from masking tape. For each verse, have that number of children link arms. For the first verse have one child walk on one side of the line and one other child walk on the other side. For each verse, add children until you get to 10 or until you run out of children. Have the children count how many total children are used for each verse.
Reinforce the concept of doubles throughout the school year. Have the children sing the "Doubles" song before math each day. Allow the children to complete several different types of doubles problems. Complete manipulative problems, worksheet problems and word problems that deal with doubles.
Conduct a doubles test with flash cards about once a week. Make up flash cards with the doubles problems written on the front. Have the class answer each problem as a whole. Place a couple of doubles problems on each test that the children complete throughout the year. Send home doubles worksheets with the children to complete at home.