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Addition Fact Strategy Monkey in the Middle Sample

Just Ask Judy
Grade Levels
1st - 2nd
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
7 total; 5 usable
Just Ask Judy


Here is a free sample from my Monkey in the Middle Addition Fact Strategy resource. It is designed to help you introduce this strategy in first and second grade. Monkey in the Middle addition equations are also known as number in between and doubles plus 2. As a prerequisite, your students need to understand flip-flop or turn around equations and be fluent with the doubles addition equations to 18. I have included a work mat and equation cards, in color and black/ white. This introductory activity is concrete and requires multi-linking cubes (the ones that link on all sides), 2 sets of 10 in two different colors, for each participating student or pair of students.

The addition equations covered in this resource:

3 + 5 and 5 + 3

4 + 6 and 6 + 4

5 + 7 and 7 + 5

6 + 8 and 8 + 6

7 + 9 and 9 + 7

These equations, except 5 + 7 and 7 + 5, can be solved using other common addition strategies. Nevertheless, monkey in the middle is still a concept worth understanding and when recognized can quickly be applied.

This resource was crafted by Judy, a teacher with a master’s degree and more than 35 years of teaching experience.

This resource includes 5 usable pages:

  • 1 page teacher information
  • 1 page color open-ended cube mat
  • 1 page color equation cards
  • 1 page black/ white open-ended cube mat
  • 1 page black/ white equation cards


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Monkey in the Middle Addition Fact Strategy Resource

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Total Pages
7 total; 5 usable
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 - 4 = 13 - 3 - 1 = 10 - 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 - 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).


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