Missing Addend Activity: Ladybug flip cards!

We’re doing the letter L, so I’ve been creating a variety of ladybug math printables.  After several months of blogging, I’ve finally made something that challenged my Five, who is just finishing kindergarten.  It didn’t take too much convincing to get her to try this missing addend activity.  She ended up going through the entire stack of 45!  As I write this she is trying to get her four-year-old brother to do them.  He’s resisting.  “Do you want to watch me do them?”

missing addend flip cards (ladybugs) - the measured mom048

I made a set of 45 flip cards for the numbers 2-10.  Here’s a sample:

missing addend flip cards sample - the measured mom

I printed the cards on heavy paper and laminated them (this is not necessary, but I wanted them to last).  Then I printed the question mark cards (pages 16-20 of the file) on red construction paper and laminated those too. I taped them to the top of the white cards with clear packing tape so that my daughter could flip them backward.

missing addend flip cards (1) - the measured mom047

missing addend flip cards (3) - the measured mom

My daughter held each card and figured out the missing addend.  After she gave me the answer I asked her to explain how she got it.  This is important — for your child to articulate her thinking process, for you to get a glimpse into her problem-solving skills, and to provide a teaching opportunity.  You can suggest other ways to get the answer.  You might also be impressed by what your child comes up with.

When my Five was figuring out this one (below), she correctly answered “6.” I asked how she figured that out.  “The first side was missing one, so I added it to the other side.”  In other words, she knows that 5+5 equals 10, so since the first side had only 4, if you do 5+1, you get 6.  I had no idea she could this kind of mental math — and wouldn’t have found out if I hadn’t ask her to explain her thinking.

10 flip card snip

Here are four different ways she found the answers:

1) Counting up on fingers
2) Counting backward from the big number
3) Counting up by doing tally marks in the air
4) Doing various forms of mental math (see the example above)

Get your free printable by clicking HERE.

If you’re interested in printing the pages for certain numbers, here’s the breakdown:

pages 1-2  … missing addends for #2-4
pages 3-5 …missing addends for #5-6
pages 6-7 …missing addends for #7
pages 8-12 …missing addends for #8-9
pages 13-15 …missing addends for #10

Get many more ladybug math printables by clicking on the image below! 

loads of ladybug math - the measured mom

© 2013 – 2014, Anna Geiger. All rights reserved.


  1. Conny says

    I so wish we were allowed to home-school in Germany – wih your activities I wouldn’t worry at all about how to teach my children! Thanks so much, I will try out this as well as many other activities you have suggested with my four-year old. As foster-parents we regularly have children in our house who have been neglected most of their life and learning is especially hard for them – now I have lots of learn and play ideas. Thank you so much!!

    • annageig says

      You’re so welcome for the ideas, Conny! I actually don’t homeschool my kids past preschool, but I love to make these things for enrichment at home and for homeschooling families. I’m glad you can use the ideas.

      That’s too bad that homeschooling isn’t allowed when it’s something you’d like to do — when we stayed in Hong Kong for a semester we learned that this is true there, too.

      But it sounds like you’re doing all kinds of great stuff with your kids and foster children — so glad you stopped by!

  2. JemaySJ says

    Hello Anna!

    I would just like to say thank you for this ladybug flipcards! They worked as a charm when I used this as a reinforcement in my classroom during Math to my Year 1 class. They were struggling with it but with this as a tool, oh my, I almost cried of happiness when they got the concept of missing addends! Kudos to you! Thank you once again! All the best!

    • Anna Geiger says

      I love stories like this – it makes me so happy that the things I’m creating are being used in classrooms. I remember how exhausting teaching was — I’m glad to provide things to make your life easier! I’ve just created missing addend monster cards with the exact same concept. I’ll be sharing them soon!

  3. says

    I love all things “Ladybug”! Thank you so very much! My niece and I are working with her children and my grandchildren this summer. We’ve been able to group activities for the 2,3 and 4 year olds with a little bit of modification. The two seven year olds and 8 year old make the other group with modifications. I am a retired school teacher that taught Kindergarten for many years (and loved every minute of it). Together we are trying to introduce, and maintain skills for the summer. You have been such a help.



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