Q&A #6281

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Addition/subtraction

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From: Lisa

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2008011812:35:00
Subject: Re: Memorizing Addition/subtraction

I think you are right that number strategies should be learned first. That helps the mind with the mobility it needs to devise strategies to add larger numbers quickly. If these things have been covered though, memorization of the single digit addition is very helpful to the student. The best way to teach this depends on the student. Some kids are better visual learners. If you provide a sheet of paper with all the addition problems AND their answers (i.e. 5+2=7), and have the child recopy them, they will learn them quickly (they should also repeat them mentally as they recopy them. Auditory learners benefit by repeating the addition problem with the answer as they read it off the flashcard (flashcards should have the answer provided with the question, so the whole thing can be memorized). In this way, as the student repeats a problem mentally, the brain will automatically complete the familiar string of numbers (5+2=.....7!). There are also jittery kids, which I don't have a lot of personal experience with (I'm a homeschooling mom of five, that's my only qualification). However, I have heard of a strategy devised by one such jittery kid (known as kinetic learners), in which the student put each problem needed for memorization on its own step, then read them to herself as she hopped up each step. However, as I said, I have no personal frame of reference in this case.

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