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Numberless Word Problems for Addition and Subtraction in 1st Grade

Grade Levels
K - 2nd, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
284 pages
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  1. This Word Problem BUNDLE for addition and subtraction within 20 is all you need to turn your first grade students into math problem solver superstars. Included in this BUNDLE is:110 Word Problem based Number Talks for all 4 types of word problems with unknowns in all positions (BOTH Digital and Prin
    Save $6.50


Does teaching addition and subtraction word problems in first grade leave you feeling overwhelmed? Well, worry no more. Teaching addition and subtraction through the numberless word problem strategy is guaranteed to melt that anxiety away and transform your students into Rock Star math word problem solvers.

When numbers are initially removed, students are forced to slow down and truly focus on what, exactly, the question is asking. By the time the numbers are revealed, students are ready to effectively tackle the problem head-on. This strategy has completely transformed our first grade classrooms when it comes to problem solving.

This resource comes in two versions - a NO PREP Digital Version and a Printable Version. Whatever you need, we've got you covered!

It includes 176 story problems in all ( 88 numberless story problems that you work through together as a class or small group and 88 word problems for students to complete independently).

The problems focus on addition and subtraction within 20. They are organized by word problem type. There is a section on joining, separating, part-part-whole, and comparing. The sections address ALL of the 11 addition and subtraction word problem types.

It also includes 88 independent problems (with numbers) called, "On My Own." There is one similar problem for each numberless problem provided. To facilitate differentiation, each "On My Own" problem comes in a version with blanks to write your own numbers in.

It's been a HUGE time savor for us and our students solve word problems more confidently than ever!


Numberless word problems require students to process what the problem is and what is needed to solve it. Students will no longer absentmindedly add or subtract numbers they see, because there aren't any numbers there - at first, anyway.

For example:

There were students on the bus.

More students got on the bus.

How many more students got on the bus?

After students THINK about and PROCESS the problem, they are presented with snippets of needed information, a little at a time. By presenting a word problem in a numberless manner first, students are truly focusing on what the problem is asking.


"I love, love, love this! It gets students thinking about what the problems are telling them and what they are not. My students are thinking rather than writing the first 2 numbers they see and adding them together."

"These are A-mazing!! These have helped my students understand what information is needed to solve different types of problems and to think about what they are solving for. The process used to think about a problem encouraged my students to engage in productive student discourse about math."

"I just loved using this product this year with my students. I particularly love how student friendly it is. I believe this teaching strategy is one of the best ones for teaching problem solving. Your product made it very easy to use the strategy in my classroom!"

"I love this unit. Using numberless word problems has been a great boost to teaching word problems. The conversation is so much better. My kids get it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

"Our primary-grade teachers just were bemoaning how students always just want to add, whenever they see two numbers! This is brilliant...one of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments when you realize you can begin without numbers. Thanks so much! I'm going to purchase extra licenses for my colleagues!"


For years we introduced and taught students how to solve math word problems teaching them strategies to use such as underlining the question, circling important information, and looking for key words. Some of our students had success, but many students struggled, especially when the unknown was not the end result. They didn't truly understand the situation or how to tackle it. Luckily, we stumbled upon the idea of using numberless word problems to truly help students focus on the problem situation. It increased student discourse and understanding GREATLY. With repeated exposure, discussion and practice, students began approaching math word problems with understanding and success.


-Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade Teachers

-Special Education Teachers

-Whole Group Math Instruction

-Small Group Math Instruction

-Math Intervention

Thank you for considering this product!

Primary Bliss

You may also like:

Numberless Word Problems within 100 - regrouping and no regrouping

Number Talks - A Yearlong Program for First Grade

Number Talks - A Yearlong Program for Second Grade

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Total Pages
284 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Year
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