Teacher2Teacher Q&A #2991

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Teaching basic math calculations

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From: Gail

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2000052411:29:29
Subject: Re: Teaching basic math calculations:subtraction

Do you have pattern blocks, or other types of "things" that could be used? You might play a racing game... I call it "Race to Zero". You can make each piece worth a certain amount, for example, if you are going to stay in base ten, then one piece will be worth 1, another will be worth ten, another worth 100, and so on. each play starts with the same amount, say, 100. Then you roll the die, and have to get rid of that much. If you start with100 and need to get rid of 6, you must break that 100 into ten tens, and then break one of the tens into ten ones. Now you can give up 6. The play continues until someone gives away his last piece. You can also use this with a different base, four, for example... to show how regrouping really works. Don't tell students the connection... let them figure it out as they play ( they will, trust me...). Anyway, say you have chips, and the red one is worth 1, and the white one is worth 6, and the blue one is worth 36, and the black one is worth 216... it works that way, because 6 reds is a white, and 6 whites is a blue, and 6 blues is a black. So now you can play race to Zero, and you trade back from black to get the right amounts.

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