From my own experience teaching 5th grade and a lot of conversations with teachers in grades 1-4, subtraction always seems to be such an area of concern with students. After the introduction of subtraction as take-away, students tend to live in that land forever. This idea was spinning in my head the entire time I […]

# 1st Grade: 1st Day of Subtraction

This week, I planned and taught with Kala in her her 1st Grade classroom! It was the students first day of subtraction in the official “take away context type of work”sense, so it was really exciting to see what they would do with it. During our planning, Kala discussed ways in which she anticipated […]

# 3rd Grade Subtraction Number Talk

So, this year is tough….getting to know students and content across all grade levels is so exciting but always leaves me with so many questions! As much as I use the CCSS as a guide, I go in to every class wondering what students at this grade know, wondering how they talk about it, and […]

# The Meaning of Subtraction

After a Number Talk a couple of days ago, I blogged about my students’ thoughts around a subtraction problem. Instead of being a talk about subtraction strategies, as I anticipated, it ended up more of a talk about the meanings of subtraction. After class, I was curious where these meanings of subtraction arise in our […]

# Subtraction Number Talk: My Curiosity Today…

Subtraction is the one operation that every time it arises in class, throws one more thing for me to think about into the mix. I have two recent posts around decimal subtraction, here and here, and I continue to work with whole number subtraction through number talks. Today, I only had time for two problems […]

# Subtraction Is So Conceptual

Every year, across all grade levels, I hear (and observe) subtraction being a difficult concept for students. Not just a difficult calculation, but concept. I am not talking about reading a context and knowing if subtraction could be a way to solve it, but instead, what is happening when you subtract and how does a […]

# Decimal Subtraction

We are doing subtraction work tomorrow in class, so to better prepare myself, I asked the students last week to solve just one decimal subtraction problem to give me an idea of where we were starting. I told the students to solve it as many ways as they could and I got a bit of […]

# Small Change, Big Impact.

The other day, Jamie tweeted about this example problem from a 4th grade program: After looking at the Standards, Learning Progressions, and discussing the 3rd grade fraction work, all of us on the thread agreed it was an appropriate question for 4th grade but then started to question whether we would give this problem as […]

# Today’s Number: Making Connections

The Investigations curriculum and Jessica Shumway’s book, Number Sense Routines contain so many wonderful math routines. Routines designed to give students access to the mathematics and elicit many ways of thinking about the same problem. One of the more open routines, is Today’s Number. In Today’s Number, a number is posed to the class and the teacher […]

# Number Talk: Which Numbers Are Helpful?

I think Number Talks are such a powerful routine in developing students’ fluency and flexibility with operations, but maybe not for the reason most think. One of the most highlighted purposes of a Number Talk is the ability to elicit multiple strategies for the same problem, however, an even more important goal for me during a […]