Addition Strategies | Are Your Students On the Case? (Exciting NEW Resource)

Holly (Teach Starter)

Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

Are you looking for a super fun and exciting way to cover addition strategies with your students?

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Imagine turning your classroom into a detective studio where your students become addition detectives! With their very own ‘suspect’ wall, your students will absolutely love going through this maths style investigation. They will be challenged to use different addition strategies to uncover suspects in a VERY suspicious case.

boy dressed as a detective

Using Mental Addition Strategies to Solve the Case

Our brand new teaching resource, the Addition Detectives PowerPoint consists of 43-slides of goodness. Styled as a detective story – your students will be captivated by the first slide!

Use this PowerPoint to guide your students through the mini-investigations. Alternatively, pair it with our Addition Detectives Unit – with matching lesson plans aligned to each investigation!


The Brief for Your Addition Detectives

A bank has been broken into, and a vast sum of money has been stolen! It is up to your students to use their mental addition strategies to reveal the suspects and solve the crime.

Each clue requires a different addition strategy that students need to use to reveal the suspect!

Addition strategies include:

  • Concrete Materials
  • Bridging to Ten
  • Jump Strategy
  • Number Boards
  • Split Strategy
  • Linking Addition and Subtraction
  • Compensation Strategy

As well as this amazing teaching Powerpoint, an adorable Suspect Board is available to download on our website. It is the perfect addition in your classroom to create a suspect wall for your very own ‘detective office’.

Explain to your students that this is where they will put the pictures of the suspects they uncover.

Suspect board for addition detectives for kids resource

Who did it? My pick is Isabel Underwood!!

Has this left you wanting more?

This PowerPoint and suspect board is actually part of a larger addition unit plan that consists of 8 sequential lessons, plus an assessment piece at the end!

Here are just some of the addition strategies resources that are used within this unit plan:

Suspects for addtion detectives unit plan for kids

This unit has been created specifically for Year 3 – the PowerPoint and resources can easily be adapted to suit the needs of younger or older students!

For ideas on how to teach subtraction strategies to your kids – check out our blog – Subtraction Strategies | A Guide for Teaching Subtraction (Early Years).

We’d love to know how your very own addition detectives go!

Make your classroom buzz! Subscribe to Teach Starter and access thousands of curriculum-aligned resources and digital learning tools. Get Started

Comments & feedback

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Madonna Lawrence

My kids adored the Addition Detective case and are asking for more.

Madonna Lawrence · Mar 3rd, 2021

Paul (Teach Starter)

Thanks for your feedback, Madonna!

Don’t forget, you can always request a resource at our ‘Request a Resource’ page –

Requests are voted on by the Teach Starter community and we create the top requests. In the meantime, perhaps some of our ‘mini-mysteries’ will satisfy your students’ need for sleuthing! Check them out at

Paul (Teach Starter) · Mar 4th, 2021

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