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Q&A #1521

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Subtraction

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From: Teach <AWakef1388@aol.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 1999071923:53:09
Subject: Subtraction

	Different children conceptualize subtraction in different ways.  For
us, it is a tool for comparison and taking away.  For children it is a
very difficult concept.  "Doing" subtraction (with markers, workjobs,
place value materials) by taking away is good.  However, when
confronted with a problem such as 13 - 8 and an 'answer' is expected,
some children and adults will count back, some will count on, some
will make tens, and others will visualize another completely different
way to solve it.  May I suggest that you don't try to change those who
count back as long as they are getting the correct answer.  That's the
way they SEE it in their MINDS' EYE.
I remember a child who would look up at the ceiling when given a
subtraction problem and after a second or two wouold tell the correct
answer.  He was using his tongue on the back of his teeth as a
numberline!
You may want to try using Workjobs as described in the book with that
name by Mary Baratta Lorton.
Good  Luck!

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