Subtraction Poem

29 Nov

Alright…I know this one’s a little bit out there, but I’m willing to take that risk-especially in the name of education. I came up with a little poem to help my students with their subtraction problems. Now, this poem only makes sense when borrowing/regrouping is required. For example, let’s take a look at a problem like 52-18. (I don’t have the technological skills to write the problem the other way, with the larger number on top and the smaller number below, so work with me.) Here’s the first part of the poem: “Eight from two, you cannot do.” At this point you go over to the tens column, cross out the five, make it a four and say, “One of me…” For dramatic effect, wait just a second or two before putting a little tiny one next to the two in the ones column and say, “adds ten to you.”

Just for good measure, let’s try another one. If the problem is 71-34, it would sound like this: “Four from one, you cannot do. One of me…” (cross out the seven, make it a six), “adds ten to you.” (Then put a little tiny one next to the one).

If this poem finds you thinking the Mr. B is a little strange or odd…you might be right.

(By the way, the answers are 34 and 37 respectively.)

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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Teaching Tips


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