Addition and Subtraction: Stepping Stones for Math
Today we’ll look at Addition and Subtraction; twin math operations that are critical for building procedural fluency. What could possibly be so important about Addition and Subtraction? It’s simple stuff, right? Let us show you a few reasons you want your learner to have these two particular operations memorized.
When children have automatic recall of facts, they can quickly retrieve answers from memory without having to rely on counting procedures, such as counting on fingers. Lack of automatic recall is a problem as children advance into the middle and later elementary grades, because the need to rely on laborious counting procedures creates a drain on mental resources needed for learning more advanced mathematics. -Dr. Louise Spear-Swerling
To begin with, Addition and Subtraction are one of the foundations of math, right after learning the numbers. These two early math skills are the first stepping stones for multiplication, division, algebra and beyond. It’s tempting to just skim over them to rush to harder concepts, but having a solid, intuitive grasp on these two foundational skills will make the next steps much easier.
Book Choices for Addition and Subtraction
The Spectrum series math books are a common go-to choice, as well as Instant Math Practice workbooks which can supplement any math curriculum! Another great option is Coloring Squared; a whole book of fun coloring activities with built-in math practice! Finally, Daily and Weekly Practice books are an excellent choice. Usually, you’ll just need to pick the book for the grade of your learner- but don’t be afraid to go up or down as needed to get the right kind of practice to adjust to an ability level.
Tools and Toys for Addition and Subtraction
Unifix Cubes, Cuisenaire Rods, individual counters, and counting frames (otherwise known as the abacus) provide young learners with the visual model they may need to discover number relationships. Fun to Know Puzzles are a great way to practice facts in another hands-on format. Rock n’ Learn DVDs or CD’s give the information in a multi-sensory way (also available in Rap, if that’s your preference.) We have an in-store only educational keyboard called The Pluses and Minuses. When you press the math fact, the answer appears underneath. Of course, games are always a fun choice! We have the classics like Bingo, but don’t forget to check out Tri-Facta or something as simple as dominoes or dice.
Flashcards and Friends
We have flash cards in different formats, from the electronic Hot Dots to traditional paper. Find yourself reaching for flashcards regularly as a learning tool? Take a look at Flashbot®, which will make using them as a solo activity a bit more fun. Or do have a look at Wrap-ups®, self-checking “keys” that turn math practice into a game. Beloved in the classroom, we often see kids run over and pick these up in the store.