Choose the classification system you would like to use:

Page Information

Language and Communication Add or take away one from a number of objects  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


In practical situations pupils can add one to or take one away from a number of objects

Early years skill:Numbers
Early years typical range:40-60+m
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:Maths Number and Algebra
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:P8
TAP skill:Language
TAP level:TAP48
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info

If you are having problems with logging into the site, please email us on Or alternatively use the contact form - especially if you don't hear back from us, or you didn't get the registration email when you tried to sign up.

Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Add one to any given number between 1 and 10 - to understand that adding one means 'more'

2 small containers

Sets of bricks, compare bears, pens, lego etc

Number lines 1 - 10 that you can write on.

1. Count say 4 items into a container and 4 into a similar container. Line them up, build them into towers , let the child discover that these are the same amount.

2. Tell the child "Put one more here." Go through the counting and comparing routine again and label the group with the extra item as " more here...this makes 5" etc.

3. Use two number lines. Match the number of items in each container with its position on the number lines. Say ' are 4 and here are 4.....they are the same. They are both 4."

Tell the child "Add one more to this container".

4. Compare the two containers with the two number lines. Say "Look............this is 4" and mark 4 on the number line, and "Look .......this is 5" and mark 5 on the other number line. Compare the number lines , point out that one number line has "more" than the other.

5. Go through this process with different numbers. You want the child to be able to associate the real objects with the more abstract concept of a number on the number line.

6. Extend the concept to everyday life e.g. does the child want one more spoon of yoghurt?, or one more colouring pen in his/her bag?

You need to make the learning very visible. Start working with objects and move onto working with worksheets when the child is performing well with objects.

Allow the child to explore materials and give time to respond to questions.

Give lots of opportunity for repetition

Work in short bursts and give many small rewards throughout the learning time.

One aim is to help the child understand that real objects can be represented abstractly with numbers.

To take away one from numbers between 1 - 10 - to understand that taking away one means 'less.'

Materials as above

From a given number find the number before

Miniature people

Groups of cars or trains

Books with pictures of lines of people or cars or trains e.g Richard Scarry's transport books.


Blu Tack

Home made coloured dots (red and blue)

From a given number find the number after

Miniature people

Groups of cars or trains

Books with pictures of lines of people or cars or trains e.g Richard Scarry's transport books.


Blu Tack

Home made coloured dots (red and blue).

An Important Message

It costs £300 per week to keep the Commtap website maintained and running. Only a very small number of its 4000 regular visitors donate anything towards the costs of its running.

This site helps parents, teachers, care-workers, speech and language therapists and many others to make their support for those with communication difficulties as effective as possible.

Every contribution from you - no matter how big or small - goes to ensure that the Commtap site continues to provide this valuable service.

You can support Commtap from as little as £1 - and it only takes a moment!


Credit Card Badges


Ads on this page are provided by Google Adsense - and their presence does not imply any endorsement by Commtap. Report a problem with an ad on this page.