Addition: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rodney Davis

Rodney has 9 years of elementary teaching experience and a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education.

In this lesson, we will discuss addition, a basic operation of math. You will learn what addition is, how to set up and work through an addition problem, and how to use regrouping for more complicated addition problems.

What Is Addition?

Let's say you have 4 cookies, and your friend James has 4 cookies. You and James think you can trade your total amount of cookies for Amanda's cupcakes. But first, you must find the total number of cookies that you and James have before asking Amanda to trade.

Rather than counting each cookie separately, you can use the basic operation of math called addition to find the total faster. Addition is when you put together two or more numbers to find the total amount, which is called the sum. So, you would add your 4 cookies and James' 4 cookies to find that the sum is 8 cookies.

4 plus 4 cookies is 8 cookies.
4 cookies plus 4 cookies makes a total of 8 cookies

In math, this would be written as 4 + 4 = 8. However, we can also write the problem out vertically by placing the numbers right on top of each other:


Using Addition for Bigger Problems

Adding 4 + 4 may not be so difficult, since they are both small numbers and can be counted pretty quickly. But finding the total will not always be so easy. When you're working with larger numbers, counting to find the total can take an awfully long time, and so you need addition to find the total.


Let's say you want to add 45 + 22.

Begin by placing your numbers vertically to complete the addition problem. It's important to notice that both 45 and 22 are two-digit numbers. When setting up your numbers, you must make sure that the place values are lined up. Place value is the value of a digit according to its placement in the number.

Starting at the right side is the ones place. Move a digit to the left and you will find the tens place. The ones places should always be lined up, and the tens places should always be lined up. So, 45 + 22 written vertically would look like this:


After your problem is set up, add the numbers in the ones column. Place the total below the line in the ones place:


Next, do the same for the tens:


You now have your final answer: 45 + 22 = 67.

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