# Cube Trains

Choo choo! Students will conceptualize addition as the whole of two parts as they build cube trains in this hands-on lesson. Use alone or for more addition practise before teaching Bug Addition to Ten.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Bug Addition to TenLesson plan.

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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Bug Addition to TenLesson plan.

Students will be able to solve basic addition problems to 10.

##### Language

Students will be able to explain the steps to solve an addition problem with manipulatives and partner support.

(3 minutes)
• Show students a picture of a train, and tell them the story problem, "I love trains! I saw a train that had three red cars and two blue cars. How many cars did the train have in all?"
• Explain that train cars are different from cars that we drive on roads. Train cars can carry things, called cargo, or people, called passengers.
• Sketch three red rectangles connected by small lines to represent the red train cars. Then attach two blue rectangles.
• Ask students to show you on their fingers how many total train cars you saw. Think aloud, "Yes, three and two is five. I saw five train cars."
(5 minutes)
• Tell students that today they will use connecting cubes to build trains with two different parts. Each part will be a different colour. Show students an example of a connecting cube, and have them repeat, "Cube."
(5 minutes)
• Tell students that today they will use connecting cubes to build trains with two different parts. Each part will be a different colour. Show students an example of a connecting cube, and have them repeat, "Cube."
• Say, "I will build a train with two parts. One part will be green, and one part will be yellow. I will use four green cubes, and three yellow cubes." Model counting to assemble each part of the train.
• Next, join the green and yellow cubes to form one train. Ask students to show you on their fingers how many cubes long the train is with the two parts connected (seven).
• Reflect, "Yes, four and three is seven." Explain that another way to say this is, "Four plus three equals seven."
• Tell students that to solve for the total of two or more parts we use Addition.Ask students which maths symbol is used for addition. Tell students to form a plus sign with their arms, and repeat, "Plus sign, addition."
• Ask students to show you on their fingers how many cubes are in the green part of the train (four). Tell students to follow along and trace the number in the air as you write the numeral four on the board.
• Tell students that since you are putting more cubes, you will use the plus sign. Add the plus sign to the equation as students form a plus sign with their arms.
• Ask students to show you on their fingers how many cubes are in the yellow part of the train (three). Have the class trace the number three in the air. Then, write 4 + 3On the board.
• Explain that now you want to know how many cubes the train has all together. Explain that you will use the Equal signWhich means, "is the same as." Tell students to gesture with arms parallel to the ground and repeat, "Equal sign, is the same as."
• Model counting on from four to seven, and finishing the equation 4 + 3 = 7.Point below the equation as you read it chorally as a class.
(10 minutes)
• Tell students that they will now build cube trains with two different colour parts. Distribute connecting cubes of two colors to small groups. Set a timer, and allow students a few minutes to freely explore the materials. Tell students to make sure that everyone in their group knows which colour cubes they have.
• Explain that the cubes will now be used as maths tools to solve problems.
• Write 4 + 2On the board. Ask students what they need to do first (build a part with four cubes of one colour).
• Ask students what they need to do next (build a part with two cubes of a different colour).
• Ask students what they need to do last (connect the two parts, and count how many there are all together).
• Tell students to show you on their fingers how many cubes they have in all (six).
• Have students whisper an addition problem to their partner that tells how many cubes there are in all (four plus two equals six).
• Continue with a few more problems, solving for sums within ten using cubes.
(10 minutes)
• Tell students that they will now work with a partner to build cube trains with two parts. Distribute approximately 20 Number Cards from 1-5 to each partnership.
• Model the activity with a volunteer. Each partner will choose one digit card, and build a train with that many cubes.
• Partners will join the train together and say a number sentence to tell how many cubes there are in all.
• Create a chart with illustrations if possible to review the steps for the activity:
• 1) Partner A chooses a number and builds a train.
• 2) Partner B chooses a number and builds a train.
• 3) Partners join the parts to make one train.
• 4) Partners say, "____Plus ____Equals ____."
• Excuse students to do the activity.

Beginning

• Do the activity in a teacher-led small group.
• Partner students who speak the same home language (L1) if possible, or with sympathetic peers with more developed English-language skills.

• Encourage students to verbalize the steps to add using cubes.
• Ask students to explain how they know that their number sentence is correct.
• Check that students are able to accurately count, and that number sentences reflect the parts and total number of cubes in the train.
• Assess the language objective by prompting students to explain their thinking as you circulate. Ask students questions such as "What is the next step?" and "How many cubes are there in all?"
• If students get the incorrect answer, ask them to explain their thinking. Encourage the self-correction of errors rather than rushing to provide the correct answer.
(2 minutes)
• Review that addition means finding the total number of two or more parts.
• Ask students to give a thumbs up if they enjoyed using the cubes to build trains to show addition problems.

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