Thursday, January 31, 2013

Borrowing Blues!

I love teaching math!  However, there is one unit that I dread teaching and that is subtraction with borrowing! Cue the dramatic music...dun dun dun!  Every year I have students that want to subtract up and forgo the borrowing all together!  I will probably go bald from pulling my hair out.
This year I have tried two different things with my students that seem to be helping them and my hair.
First, I make my students repeat over and over Bottom Bigger Borrow.  This reminds students that if the bottom number is bigger they have to borrow.  I even made a poster to help remind them.  You can click on the poster below to download it for FREE!
Secondly, I have shown my students the website National Library of Virtual Manipulative. (This website is FREE and great to use with interactive whiteboards.) On this website, there are virtual base ten blocks for students to subtract.  When they move the blocks over from the 100's or 10's column they will break apart!  The kids love the "magical" block change before their eyes.   This visual representation has really helped my students understand why we are borrowing.  (This website also offers virtual base ten blocks for addition, students lasso the blocks together to make a ten.)
I really hope these two things will help you, your students, and your hair. Please share any ideas that you may have as we we teachers must band together. :)

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