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    By pinkjuice

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    I agree with Teach4 - using counters is helpful. At fourth grade they may be ready to use base 10 blocks which will help them to move into the algorithim quicker.

    I teach 2nd grade and right now our subtraction strategies are:
    Count back:
    28-16=__
    28 27 26 25 24 23 22, 21, 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12

    Friendly numbers:
    28-16=__
    28-10=18
    18-6=12

    Tens and Ones:
    28-16=__
    20-10=10
    8-6=2
    10+2=12

    The Tens and Ones strategy only works when no regrouping is required. My kids are moving from the Tens and one to using friendly numbers. In a few weeks I get to teach the algorithim. :/

    As for multiplication, we begin instruction by highlighting skip counts on the 100 chart (a whole packet of them, 1 for each number up to 10) then then move into using arrays. It's a lot of work cutting up a set of arrays, but it really helps for students to see a concrete example of 7x5. They see that 7x5 is actually 7 rows of 5 squares.

    I cut mine out of graph paper. If you plan on using them again I would laminate the paper and THEN cut them out. Save tons of time. I also write the multiplication fact 7x5 on the front and then the answer on the back.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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