## CIRCUS FUN! Add Up to 9

**This is the second book in the SMILING DOG® EARLY-MATH series.** **(Just click the cover to buy it.)**

**Math Concept:** The book features an important early math idea and skill—the pairs of numbers that add up to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. There are only a few of these pairs, and they are listed below.

- 2 = 1 + 1;
- 3 = 1 + 2;
- 4 = 1 + 3; 2 + 2,
- 5 = 1 + 4; 2 + 3.
- 6 = 1 + 5; 2 + 4; 3 + 3
- 7 = 1 + 6, 2 + 5; 3 + 4
- 8 = 1 + 7; 2 + 6; 3 + 5; 4 + 4
- 9 = 1 + 8; 2 + 7; 3 + 6; 4 + 5

**Why Are These Number Pairs So Important? **

Once a child understands our base-10 number system, knowing these 20 number facts plus the 5 pairs of numbers that add to 10 (the focus of *10 FRIENDS SAVE THE DAY!*) allows a child to add and subtract basically anything. Learning these number pairs is a very small investment that has a very big payoff! For example in *CIRCUS FUN!*, 2 sings,

"Making 2 is done with ease. 1 + 1. Now that's a breeze!"

Why is it important for children to understand 2 can be thought of as made of 1 + 1? Because a lot of math involves recognizing that the same "amount" can be represented in many different ways. This flexibility makes a child a problem-solving magician because he or she can use what works best for a given situation.

For example, if I need to solve 7 + 2,

I personally find it easier to think of "2" as "2,"and I know that 7 + 2 = 9.

But, what if I need to solve 9 + 2?

Since we have a "base-10" number system, for this problem it helps me to think of "2" as "1 + 1." Why? Because it allows me to join 1 with 9 to create a group of 10. And, once I "see" 2 this way, my brain gets to work "seeing" 9 + 2 like this:

9 + 2 = 9 + 1 + 1 = **(**9 + 1**)** + 1 = 10 + 1 = 11

Once a child starts to "see" math like this, such mental calculations get done lightning fast. And seeing math this way affords the child great problem-solving flexibility that can be used throughout all levels of math.

Psst… I have a long-time, very smart, and successful friend who labels herself "not good at math." She admitted last year that to add past 10, she still counted on her fingers. She hid this, as it was a source of stress and embarrassment. Yet, she knew what pairs of numbers add up to 2 – 9 and 10. In a short conversation, using the approach I just shared about adding 9 + 2, I showed her how she could use her knowledge to add past 10. A math challenge she had for over 50 years virtually disappeared after a 10-minute conversation about how numbers work. She now adds past 10 without counting on her fingers! I've also had similar experiences with students I've tutored. A short conversation about how numbers work has allowed them to add past 10, eliminating a struggle they've had for years.

**Recommendation: **While there are many good counting books and some good books about "seeing" numbers as telling us the size of groups, there aren't many books about "seeing" numbers and groups as made up of pairs of other numbers and groups. *CIRCUS FUN* and *10 FRIENDS SAVE THE DAY!* focus on these key, foundational ideas and skills. I highly recommend buying them together. To understand how we add past 10, a child needs to know both what pairs of numbers add up to 2 – 9 as well as what pairs of numbers add to 10.

**Story:** The NUMBERS (and their dog and 8's pet spider) get upset after getting in some trouble at dinner, and they run away to join the circus. To convince the ringmaster to hire them, each number shows off what pairs of numbers combine to create that number. Other fun facts about the numbers are featured.

**Activities:** Kids will enjoy coloring the black and white book and doing the activities in the back. The pictures and activities are designed to help children learn key "add up to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9" addition facts so they become well known and automatic.

**Remember: **SMILING DOG® EARLY MATH books aren't just a story book, a coloring book, or a math workbook. Each SMILING DOG® EARLY MATH book combines all three! The story and pictures make the math fun and help children understand key math concepts. Coloring and workbook pages invite children to explore their understanding and practice newly acquired math skills. Enjoy!