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Subtraction


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OK I need your help guys. My class are generally very good with their number skills and only 2 or 3 can't count to 10. We really need to focus on addition and subtraction in their calculating skills. They get addition fairly well and can work out one more and add together.

The dilemma is subtraction, they can take one away, they can find one less when an adult asks them and even take away within 10, some of them.

The trouble is they aren't using the vocabulary, they are having difficulties grasping language such as '5 take away 1 leaves 4.' and 'If I take away 1 I have 1 left'. As a school we have a big focus on speaking and listening as their skills are quite poor there but it is driving me and my TA's round the bend! xD They know what they are doing, most of them anyway, but the vocab is not there!

Now I know it may just take time and like chinese water torture, be a matter of drip drip drip and constant use will help it sink in but I would appreciate some ideas, some different ways of approaching it, in fact any different ways to go over the same thing! :o

Looking forward to ANY ideas. Thanks guys.

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Hi Liz

I hate to see your post unanswered but not sure that I have any!

 

I would continue with the practical activities and experiences to consolidate the vocabulary. Lots of reinforcement within number rhymes etc that seem to be almost entirely counting down and in games. Hopefully with time this will make the concepts more automatic which I think is what you are after but I'm not sure how automatically children embrace this sort of thing within their independent play unless choosing the games that you have already modelled.

 

Hope this helps?

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Thanks Susan. Knew it was a long shot but you never know, someone might have had the answer! Will just have to bang my head against the wall a while longer! :o

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Keep banging away. Thing is when YOU use the words do they understand them? Do lots of number stories. Get them to make up their own. I sometimes use small whiteboards for this. If you talk them through 'taking away' with objects can they follow the instructions? If so then they are understanding so USE will follow eventually- well we can hope can't we :D ?

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