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The +0 Rule: Kinder Addition

We’ve wrapped up our year but I’m busy reinforcing addition facts with my rising 1st grader. Since the beginning of May, we have been reviewing our facts using a handful of methods that he likes. Adding 0 is probably the most simplest addition fact but I find that Kinder’s often get a bit confused. Have you ever asked a little one, what’s 0 + 5 to get an answer of 0? It’s so normal, but it isn’t correct.

Adding 0 Rule

Boys can be drifters sometimes. You can ask my son a question or try to get him to focus and it appears as if he has totally checked out. It can be quite the challenge trying to get him back. As I sat, contemplating what I could do to help reel my son in with his addition facts, I thought of rules. Was there a rule I could give him to assist in the random calling out of numbers or the response of “0” to all the 0 facts?

Then came the magic…

I sat my son down and asked him to repeat after me, “0 plus a number is that same number.” We had some fun with it hopping along, stomping along, clapping along, and well you get the point. After a few repetitions, I called out some addition facts for him. I told him to wait before he called out the answer. I encouraged him to think about his +0 rule, then reply.

It went a little like this…

Me: You are so smart. Watch this. If 0 plus a number is that same number then what’s 0 + 2?

Him: Mommy, if it’s the same number then it’s 2.

Me: Right. We know we’re adding 0 so not that number, but the other number.

Him: Ask me another one.

Me: If 0 plus a number is that same number, then what’s 0 + 6?

Him: 6, mommy. It’s the same number.

Me: Yes. This is the adding 0 rule. It will not ever change and it works with every number.

Him: Mommy, are sure about every number?

Me: Yes sir. Let me show you. What is 0 + 20? Remember, that same number.

Him: 20!

Me: And what is 0 + 50? Remember, that same number.

Him: 50, mommy! It’s 50!

Me: I have a really big number for you, are you ready?

Him: YES!

Me: What is 0 + 100?

Him: 100! I get it mommy! 0 plus a number is just the same number I’m adding by.

Me: You got it kid. I told you, you were so smart.

As we review and reinforce his addition facts, this rule is helping him tremendously. Where a child may be tempted to call out “0”, the rule helps him stop, think, and apply his learning to his answer. If he happens to answer incorrectly, I just redirect him. I too, hope this will help you in homeschool if you’re teaching a Kinder this year. It’s important to continue with math, even in the summer. It’s my prayer that you are encouraged to do so and have fun helping your Kinder stay on top of his or her facts.

Happy Teaching Math!

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