How to Use Fact Family Houses to Teach Your Child First-Grade Math

A fact family is made up of three numbers. Just as in any family the members, or numbers, are related and there are always at least four math facts to be made with them.

Take, for example, these members of a fact family: 6, 4, and 10.They're related because the first two numbers can be added to get the third.

Knowing fact families, especially those which create number sentences that add up to 10, are a key part of first-grade math.

Knowing the Tens Facts

Tens facts
Amanda Morin

Have your child list out the Tens Facts. To begin with, you and your child are going to figure out the combination of numbers that add up to. Begin with 1, asking the question "What do I need to add to 1 to have 10?". Be sure to list the inverse facts as well. For example, 1 + 9 = 10, but 9 + 1 = 10 as well.

Draw a Fact Family House

Drawing of a fact family house.
Amanda Morin

Draw a fact family house or print one out. All your house needs to have is a roof with three windows and a body with four bay windows. Write two blank addition problems (____ + ____ = _____)  and two blank subtraction problems (____ - ____ = _____) in the bay windows.

Move in the Fact Family

Fact family diagram
Amanda Morin

In the attic windows, ask your child to write the three numbers that make up your fact family, making sure to write the largest number in the top window. In this instance, since she began your Tens Facts with 1 + 9, the numbers in the windows will be 10, 9 and 1.

Then, have your child complete the two addition problems, using the list she created. Once she's figure those out, the subtraction problems should be easy. If you need to prompt, ask something along the lines of "If I added 9  to 1 to get 10, what do you think would be left if I took that 9 away again?".

Meet the Fact Family Neighbors

Drawing of fact family neighbors.
Amanda Morin

Now it's time to move on to creating a neighborhood. Simply draw or print four more houses. If you want to make the activity more of a craft, print the houses on heavy paper. Next, have your child fill in the rest of the Tens Facts, one in each house, to create the entire neighborhood.

Build a Fact Family Neighborhood

Drawings of fact family neighborhood
Amanda Morin

Once the neighborhood is finished, your child can decorate the homes and cut them out leaving some extra paper at the bottom of the house. Fold the extra tab under to make the houses stand up.

Making a fact family neighborhood is a way to make math concepts easy and fun for young children to learn. 

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