CGI Addition Word Problems for Grades 1-3: Select-a-size Addition Stories

Grade Levels
1st - 3rd
Formats Included
  • PDF
65 pages
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  1. Addition and subtraction word problems are such a critical part of developing problem solving skills--but they aren't easy for many students. You may be familiar with the research done with children and how they acquire math understanding—especially in a problem solving philosophy called CGI or “co
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You may be familiar with the research done with children and how they acquire math understanding—especially with a problem solving philosophy called CGI or “cognitively guided instruction”.  If you aren’t familiar with it, I highly recommend a little reading because it is fascinating!

The work is so thorough and well respected that the writers of the CCSS have chosen to base a good part of the standards on it!  In fact, if you have not spent time looking at the tables in the glossary (pages 88-89), I would recommend it as the CCSS for grades 1-4 refer directly to them. 

This resource is designed to help teachers provide students with quality problems to help them navigate the six addition problem types.  Because students come to the table with a variety of skills, each problem has 3 different “select a size” number choices to help make the problem a perfect fit! Rather than having to find different problems for your different levels, you can teach the different problem types and the differentiated numbers are right on the page! 

What is included?

  • Real photos and teaching tips and suggestions
  • A “teach me” problem to use whole-class to model each of the 6 problem types.  Customize them by writing your student names in the blanks!
  • 6 quality problems in all 6 different problem types—all CCSS aligned (36 word problems)
  • 3 levels of challenge per problem
  • Problems available with 6 of the same problem per page AND on sheets with 6 different problems per page
  • Full answer key
  • Blank forms to use for independent work or as assessments (use this for ANY of the problems included…students can use it for independent work or for you to collect as an assessment of their problem solving and/or to show their written explanations..)
  • 2 assessment forms!

I hope you enjoy using this resource to help improve problem solving with your students!  Problem solving is more than just adding two numbers--it is THINKING... and this resource can help!


Looking for all my CGI "Select-a-Size" problems?

Addition and Subtraction CGI bundle

Addition Only CGI Problems

Subtraction Only CGI Problems

Multiplication and Division CGI Problems


All rights reserved by ©The Teacher Studio.  Purchase of this problem set entitles the purchaser the right to reproduce the pages in limited quantities for single classroom use only.  Duplication for an entire school, an entire school system, or commercial purposes is strictly forbidden without written permission from the author at  Additional licenses are available at a reduced price.

Total Pages
65 pages
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.
Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 + ? = 11, 5 = ▯ - 3, 6 + 6 = ▯.
Understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false. For example, which of the following equations are true and which are false? 6 = 6, 7 = 8 - 1, 5 + 2 = 2 + 5, 4 + 1 = 5 + 2.
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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