Xuzi Posted November 4, 2011 Share Posted November 4, 2011 My 2nd grader can do subtraction, but anytime a word problem comes up that asks "Find the difference between x and y", or "How many more ___ does Jim have than Jack?" she gets confused. If it says "Find the difference" she starts looking at the numbers, literally, to find their differences. For example, for 26 and 63, she'll say "Well, they both have sixes, but one is in the ten's place and one is in the one's place", rather than actually doing the math involved to find their numerical difference. I've tried drawing pictures to illustrate this concept to her, but it's still not "clicking", and I know she learns well through games, and LOVES using the computer, so I'm wondering if there's a website I can sit her down at that will let her play around with this concept. Is there? :tongue_smilie: Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

sleeplessnights Posted November 4, 2011 Share Posted November 4, 2011 Maybe the problem is that your daughter doesn't know the names of the parts in subtraction: Minuend - Subtrahend = Difference If your daughter knows that the answer in a subtraction problem is called the "difference", that will key her into subtracting. If you are looking for something a little more conceptual, maybe you could restate the question as "How many more...." after reading the original wording so that she can make the connection between the two. Good luck! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

sleeplessnights Posted November 4, 2011 Share Posted November 4, 2011 Sorry to reply again, but I missed that she can't figure out "How many more..." I would reduce the scale of the problem and use concrete objects. For example, I would put 10 matchbox cars on the table and 7 pennies. Then I would ask her how many more cars there were than pennies. Match them up one by one until there are 3 cars left over. Then I would write "10-7=3" to help her find out how many more in math language. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Walking-Iris Posted November 4, 2011 Share Posted November 4, 2011 My 3rd grader can subtract pretty well---but ask him how many more or how many less and he just freezes up. Also if I ask him what two numbers have the difference of 8--it took a while for him to get to 9-1 or 18-10 etc I think this comes with having multiple exposures to the different terms in math. For instance if we're working on the subtraction operation I may use the words difference, answer, result etc while teaching the lesson. So I may say "7 minus 5 is the same as taking 5 from 7 and that gives us the difference and the answer. So the result of subtracting 7 and 5 is 2." It sounds wordy, but if you make it natural and just get all those terms in there at certain times they'll get it. So for a 2nd grader finding the difference for 26-63---she would first have to understand place value, and expanded form 26 is 20+6, 63 is 60+3 and then she would have to learn how to regroup/borrow/decompose...whatever you call it. But it sounds to me it's more a vocabulary issue than a subtraction issue. She just may need help knowing what the word problem is asking her to do. At that age it's totally appropriate to draw pictures of the word problem, or use manipulatives. Word problems are tricky!!! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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