AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Computation and Problem-Solving Strategies

One of the most difficult areas identified by after-school staff is helping students with math. We include some tips on helping students who are being taught computation with some newer and more traditional strategies. We also provide a model for helping students think through word problems that has emerged from high-achieving East Asian countries.

A. Strategies that use and build number sense

Addition and subtraction: Working with ten(s)
Help students use numbers that are easy to work with. Get the very young to work with 10. It is easy to add numbers that end in zero in your head. Students should become very comfortable with all the combinations that make 10!

Problem The mathematical thinking
Problem A page 75 To make 9 into 10 you need 1 more so think of 6 as 1 & 5.
Problem B page 75 To make 27 into 30 you need 3. Split 18 into 3 & 15.
Problem C page 75 To subtract from 10, first take away 4 ones. See 6 as 4 & 2.
Problem D page 75

It is easy to subtract numbers ending in zero. Subtract 40.

But we subtracted 2 too many. We must put them back now.


Next: Multiplication