Q&A #561

Borrowing in mathematics

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Sep 19, 1998 at 22:18:34
Subject: Re: Borrowing in mathematics

I think one of the reasons why it is difficult for students to understand 
what is happening when we "regroup" is that they really don't understand 
place values.

Having students think about amounts in a variety of ways, for example, 135 is 
135 ones, 13 tens and 5 ones, 12 tens and 15 ones, 1 hundred and 35 ones, 1 
hundred 3 tens and 5 ones, etc. will help them make the changes needed when 
they are regrouping. 

If they have 135, but are removing 87, and they know that 135 is 13 tens and 
5 ones, or 12 tens and 15 ones, they can use 12 tens and five ones to solve 
the problem. 

My experience with students of elementary age is that they have number sense, 
but are afraid to use it.  To them, mathematics is a mysterious thing that 
doesn't make sense.  We have to help them regain and feel secure about that 
sense they have.

 -Gail, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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