Q&A #6281


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From: Ralph (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 07, 2001 at 14:34:02
Subject: Re: Addition/subtraction

Hi Gina, "Let me Count the Ways" :) Seriously, yours is a very wide-ranging question, with lots of answers. If you're talking about the development of a conceptual understanding of what addition and subtraction are, then K-3 children do this in a multitude of experiences. My 4-year old counts her Cheerios at snack time, then "subtracts" as she eats them, and seems to understand such things, for example, as 4 "take away" 4 leaves none!, etc. Last week I watched a Kindergarten teacher have a child count all the children who were there for circle time, and when the child counted 21, the teacher asked how many were missing--the child "counted up" to 24 (seemed to know from established routine that 24 was the total number in the class), so he said "3 are absent"--the others called out who was missing, and the teacher completed her attendance sheet this way. So lots and lots of concrete/semi-concrete experiences with situations reflecting addition and subtraction give children a strong sense of the concept. However, if your question was intended to focus more on the learning and memorizing of addition/subtraction basic facts, then the examples would be very different. If this was your intent, write back and I (and/or other associates) will extend our response. -Ralph, for the T2T service

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