Q&A #537

Teaching addition and subtraction

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Sep 01, 1998 at 19:32:00
Subject: Re: Teaching addition and subtraction

I am not sure why you need to stop her from using her fingers in first
grade.   Some would argue that you NEVER need to stop her, but I am not sure
I agree with that, either.  What you can do, is wean her away from using her
fingers by helping her acquire some number sense.  If you play games with her
that use a ten frame ( that is a 5 x 2 rectangle, with each of the ten
squares outlined) she will begin to recognize numbers that have a sum of 10.

for example, you could fill a few of the squares with beans or counters (one
per square) and have her figure out how many beans she would need to complete
the ten frame.

You could also take a pile of beans ( 10, later  12, then 15, and so one , up
to 20) and play the same sort of game.  Let her count to see how many there
are, then cover some up, or take some away, and have her figure out how many
you have covered up or taken away.

These are still counting activities, but you are giving her something else to
count besides her fingers.

Young children don't "see" amounts the way we do.  We have years of
experience that they haven't the benefit of.  Giving your daughter something
concrete to move around and count will help her build an understanding of
what happens when amounts are combined and separated.  Hope this helps.

 -Gail, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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