Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Take a Penny and Take Regrouping Out of Subtraction

"Take a Penny" is a 2 step strategy that allows students to subtracting across zeros without having to go through the complicated steps of regrouping. In fact with "Take a Penny", students can subtract across zeros without regrouping at ALL!

I learned the "Take a Penny" strategy last summer, and it has transformed the way my students subtract. I was at one of those workshops that you really don't want to be at but are required to go to, and boy was I amazed. The man that came to talk to us knew exactly how it felt to be in our shoes and did not waste one second of our time. 

He taught us all kinds of strategies to make learning about math not only easier but fun. He only talked to us for two days, but I swear I would have sat there for a week just to learn more ways to help children understand and comprehend math in ways that we have never heard of. 

I have used many of his strategies this past year, but the one that has had the most monumental change is the "Take a Penny" strategy. I actually feel like I have cheated my past classes by not teaching them this strategy. Not only is it faster, but because there are less steps students rarely make mistakes. 

And it works every time, no matter how many zeros you have. The reason it works is quite simple. When you are subtracting two numbers, you are finding the difference between them or how far apart they are. When you "Take a Penny", you are not changing the distance between the two numbers because you are doing the same thing to both numbers. You are just make it easier to find the distance between the numbers.

I created a 23 slide PowerPoint presentation to help students and teachers master this innovative strategy. This product introduces how to "take a penny" and then provides an abundance of practice in working subtraction problems that require regrouping across zeroes using this extremely innovative strategy. Check it out at my TpT store.  I promise that it will forever change the way you and your students subtract!


  1. Very cool! I just started following your blog.
    Math is Elementary

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I do hands on workshops for students and in service classes for teachers. This idea will be used!

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