Some number sense concepts will be taught early on and then taught again later using larger numbers. Here are some of the building blocks needed early in the program to provide a strong number sense foundation.
As a teacher, it is important to become familiar with these concepts yourself and “reteach” your mind to also become fluent in these strategies. Before I teach a lesson, I practice it out first to make sure I am following this method and not letting any of my own previous math knowledge sway the way I model the concepts.
Fluency Addition and Subtraction Concepts
Adding Like Units
When students are learning adding strategies, they are taught to use ten as a benchmark. Working with the number bond strategy, students can extend numbers to a tens place. For example to solve 20+7=____ , students can think 2 tens plus 7 ones equals 2 tens and 7 ones to equal 27. This strategy is adding like units. When students begin adding larger numbers such as 20+34=____, they can add the ones and think 0+4=4 and then add the tens 20+30= 50. Then add 50+4=54. Adding like units across is taught before adding vertically in an algorithm. This helps students to understand the concept of place value along with adding and not just memorizing steps to add.
Take out Ten
This strategy helps students see the tens as a benchmark and to subtract fluently. For example, students start out practicing how to create a number bond with a number larger than ten. For example, 17 would be a number bond using 7 and 10. This is helpful to know before beginning to add and subtract using the take out ten strategy. In this strategy students are taught to look at 14-9=_____ and make a number bond for 14, using 4 and 10. They have now pulled out the ten and are showing the ones left. Now, students solve 10-9=1, then add 1+4=5. The final answer is 5. This is pulling together so many number sense skills. Students can ring together the numbers they are going to subtract first, then add the numbers that are left. Showing all of the work with the number bond and equations will be a way for students to show their thought process to problem solve.
These foundational fluency concepts may seem like strange way to go about traditional adding and subtraction, but there is something special about this way of thinking. I have found that students take ownership of these skills very early on. It becomes a way for them to truly know what numbers are made up of and what exactly the process of addition and subtraction are. They have a deeper understanding very early on and it will help build our strong math students with deep number sense. This is much more valuable than just memorizing a system of adding and subtraction. This is what makes Eureka Math such a valuable asset to any math curriculum!
- Classroom Teacher
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