Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Borrowers

Nuttin' like startin' out the second semester with a bang.

Our first day back, after two glorious weeks of vacation,
and Beka had to learn borrowing.

It is one of the hardest concepts for lower elementary kids to grasp.
Being patient while teaching one of the hardest concepts
is one of the hardest challenges for those teaching lower elementary kids.

At first, my patience was STILL on Christmas vacation!

Quickly, I had to get back into the calm, praying teacher mode,
so I didn't add to her frustration.

I took out all the tools.

Place value was quickly reviewed, then Beka wrote the problem
with the digits in the correct columns on my place value chalkboard.

This THING is amazing.
It's old, it's cool, and it helps visual learners.

If you can't find a vintage THING like this,
you easily could use Legos or Duplos.
 Or, if you don't have little ones crawling around eating your manipulatives,
you could use pipe cleaners and pony beads.

Look around....there is probably something you could use...

When you show tens as a unit,
it is much easier to understand the concept of carrying and borrowing.
Instead of saying you're borrowing "one"
it is helpful to say you're borrowing "one ten."

Here we borrowed one ten from the tens column,
and placed it in the ones column.

Instead of 31, we made 20 + 11.
We don't change the amount,
you never create or destroy matter,
you just changed its clothes.

This is why modern curriculums call it "regrouping."
I guess it is more accurate, because you're not borrowing
like you're going to return it, you use it and don't give it back.

It is good to introduce all the terms you know for any concept,
you never know what they'll be called on testing, or in different curriculums.

We practiced several times before we began the worksheet.
I had her physically move the group of ten over to the ones column
for each problem we did.

You get to touch your math,
you get to see your math,
you get to hear your math
with mom using manipulatives.

When math isn't working with numbers, I talk about candy.
"You have only three pieces of candy and you
need to give me seven pieces of candy.
You have to borrow ten pieces of candy from your sister next door."

Sometimes, it grabs their attention long enough to grasp the concept.

It still wasn't clicking, so I brought out another manipulative.

Yea, Dad!

This was his last day of vacation,
then I am on my own.

I'll make sure my patience comes back to school with me.