Monday, September 24, 2012

Give and Take

In my previous post, I discussed different ways of teaching addition with regrouping. One strategy I teach is the Give and Take Method. It allows students to completely avoid regrouping by getting one of the addends to the nearest ten. And whatever they give they have to take from the other addend.

The first step is to look in the ones place. Decide which digit is closer to a ten. In the example, it is the 8. What do you add to 8 to get it to the next tens number? 2. If you add 2 to the 8, then you have to take 2 from the 4. Now look at your new problem. You can solve it without regrouping. The method works really well with 2 digit numbers. I use it with kids who have trouble remembering to regroup or add in the ten that was regrouped. I also use it as a way to check problems that have been worked out using a different strategy. Plus, it gives kids extra practice with addition and allows some practice with mental math. After a while, many use this method to work problems out in their heads.

To introduce and review tens bonds, I show the following video. It is a favorite of my students! We watch it over and over again. It warms them up for this strategy and makes it so much easier. Check it out!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Awesome Addition

Wow! We have come along way from when we were growing up and learning how to add. When we were learning facts, we were just told to memorize. You didn't need to know why 4 + 3=7. All you needed to know was that it was 7! You just learned your facts.

Then when we moved to adding 2 and 3 digit numbers, all we knew was that we stacked up the numbers and remembered those facts. If there was a number bigger than 9 in a position, we "carried" the other number to the next place. No one explained why. No one told us that the 1 in 12 was really 10 ones that could be regrouped into 1 ten and then that is why it was moved to the tens place.

Now we not only teach kids this but we expect them to be able to convey it on state and national tests. We no longer want to know that 53 + 29 is 82. We want to know "how did you find that answer", or "what method did you use to solve your problem", or "how did you use mental math to help you".

In other words, students must be able to show the "how" and the "why" and not just the "what". The problem is that anyone who has been teaching more than five years never learned how to teaach like this. All we know is the "old school" algorithm.

Through out my thirteen years of teaching, I have been criticised for teaching students using unconventional methods, especially when it comes to addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Teachers have told me that kids have to know how to do it the traditional way! Why? Does it say it in a standard somewhere? Oh, it is in the book? Well, guess what...math books are becoming you might want to stop resting on your laurels and the way we have always done it and spread your wings a little bit.

I have created 2 different PowerPoint presentations on Addition With Regrouping and Addition Without Regrouping. These presentation include many different strategies for adding numbers, like drawing the problem out, expanded form, branching, a method called Give and Take, and even...Old School. You can see my

I have also created a packet entitled Autumn Addition that includes lessons on each method of addition without regrouping. It includes printables, rules, games, and more!

Finally, I have created a unit for teaching addition without regrouping entitled Game On:Addition with Regrouping. It includes lessons on each of the methods of branching, drawing, expanded form, give and take and old school. It has printables, activities, games, and songs to make learning about the "how" and "why" of addition with regrouping engaging and fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Johnny Appleseed!

Every year, I love when fall comes to town. Football, leaves, cooler weather, Halloween, and Johnny Appleseed. I know that sounds like an odd thing to get exceited about but Johnny Appleseed Day is one of my students' most favorite days.

We dedicate the whole day to Johnny and his Apples. We do art projects, make applesauce, weigh and measure apples, research, read books about Johnny, and even have an Applicious Party at the end of the day complete with caramel apples, Apple Jacks, apple chips, apple pie and much more.

I have always had an assortment of activities and printables that I have acquired throughout the years. Most were great activities but they had just started to fade. Others needed a little vamping up. So I have created a whole new Thematic Plan to make for one sensational Johnny Appleseed Day. Check them out at my TpT store.

There is an expository writing lesson on How to Make Applesauce. A Bushel Full of Math Centers sends kids exploring apples in whole new way by weighing, sinking, measuring, researching, drawing...and so much more. They will read a folktale about A Little Red House and create a comic strip about the story's events. Next they get to travel through Johnny the United States and create a graphic organizer about his life.