Short Blocks

Maths Reception Spring Addition & Subtraction (A)

Hamilton's Reception Maths planning targets the key characteristics of effective early learning:

  • Through Exploring and Playing, children independently engage with their peers and their environment.
  • Active Learning group activities promote the motivation needed to be involved and to keep trying.
  • Guided Creating and Thinking Critically supports development of problem-solving & reasoning skills.

Maths Out Loud: whole-class counting, repetitive chants, rhymes, songs and a linked story to enjoy together.

Unit 1 Partition to create number bonds (suggested as 5 days)

Creating and Thinking Critically

1. Finger partitioning
2. How many missing?
3. Flowery tens
4. Splitting the biscuits

Maths Out Loud

Use Post-its™ to cover 10 random numbers on the 1-100 grid (not multiples of 10).

Count to 100 as a class, with children marking the multiples of five by waving one hand (numbers ending ‘5’) or two hands (numbers ending ‘0’).

Point to each number on the grid as you say it.

Can children say the missing numbers? Take off the Post-its as you go.

Number Bonds to 10
(see poster)

0 and 10 are big strong men

1 and 9 are feeling fine

2 and 8 are never late

3 and 7 come from Devon

4 and 6 like to play tricks

5 and 5 come alive

Children can invent their own version for the class to say together.

Ten Red Apples – by Pat Hutchins

How many apples have been eaten? How many are left on the tree?

Use number bonds to answer.

You Will Need

Exploring and Playing
Large dried beans e.g. butter beans; paint/permanent pen in gold/silver; number bond to 10 cards, small stickers; dominoes; camera; cardboard mats; interlocking cubes; number bonds to 10 cards; pennies; other coins; two purses (see resources).

Active Learning
Sum cards (see resources); 10 pegs on a coat hanger; cloth; cardboard boxes; 10 soft toys; blank cards; Numicon; string; beads.

Creating and Thinking Critically
Flip chart or whiteboard; Number cards 1-10 (see resources); plastic animals e.g. zoo/farm animals; Sum cards (see resources) or blank cards; Lego/lolly sticks/card; whiteboards, pens; ten petals (see resources); glue; biscuits: savoury/ sweet; 2 plates.

Unit 2 Say the number 1 more/ less (suggested as 5 days)

Active Learning

  1. Pennies in the tin
  2. Who’s hiding?
  3. Bus stop
  4. Car park

Maths Out Loud


Shuffle a set of 1-10 cards. Show one. Children say the next number, then carry on counting until you say stop. Repeat with other cards.
On a different day, repeat, but this time, children count back to zero.
Use number shapes – such as Numicon - for the same activity, asking Which shape is 1 more/ 1 less than this one?
Analyse and visualise number images, e.g. by showing children the dice pattern for 5 and asking them What numbers can you see hidden inside this number?


Sing a song or say a rhyme which starts with one object/character and adds one more each time, e.g. One elephant went out to play, or One man went to mow, such as this animated version of One Man Went to Mow on


On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets by Michael Dahl

You Will Need

Exploring and Playing

A complete set of dominoes; chairs; a steering wheel and a bus stop; items in a class shop; price labels; pens; playground chalk; bean bags.

Active Learning

A tin or money box; 12 pennies; 12 soft toys, a blanket; 10 chairs; covered car park (see preparation); 10 cars.

Creating and Thinking Critically

1-20 track; 1-20 cards; eight cards for additions; cubes; Addition cards (see resources); 1-6 dice; dice with 1 or 2 spots on each face; game track with numbers from 1 to 12 in order; building bricks, e.g. Lego® or Duplo®; coin; counters.