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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