# Numberbonds

The player has to select the rod that fits with a given rod to make 10, within 3 seconds. If they make mistakes or take too long, the game slows down.

## Playing simple adding games

When a child or adult learning about numbers can count to ten accurately, perhaps using their fingers and thumbs, they are ready to understand what simple addition means - although of course you don't need to use the word 'addition'. For example, you can hold up six fingers and ask how many are down. Or show a few fingers from one hand, and asking them to show a few from their hand, and then ask how many fingers are showing altogether.

Some people will rapidly remember answers, others will count every time. It doesn't matter - what they're learning, however slowly, is that numbers are constant. If you show three fingers and the learner shows four, there are seven altogether. If they show three and you show four, there are still seven. If you have three cakes and four cakes, there are seven cakes. This is the algebraic principle 3y + 4y = 7y which needs to be understood before we write it as the arithmetical shorthand 3+4=7.

So long as the learner has played around with this kind of 'real' sum, and is fully comfortable with the principles, they will have no trouble with algebraic concepts such as a+b = b+a. Difficulties with this kind of statement only arise when as a child they have never really grasped what the 'arithmetic facts' actually mean, and how they work in real life. Such difficulties last into adulthood without special educational intervention.