Today I posed this question to your kiddos: You're going on a trip 1,000 miles away. You've already gone 632 miles, so how could you figure out how many miles are remaining? That's all the instruction I gave. I like this approach because it gives a real-life scenario and lets the kids really think about what strategy makes sense! We had LOTS of difference strategies, from number lines, to adding or subtracting by place value, to vertical subtraction. It's so important the kids understand the concept of subtraction, and how they can use addition to accomplish the same goal if they just change their ways of thinking. The kids had an opportunity to explain their method to the others. I heard lots of, "Oh! I get what he did!" That makes my heart so happy! We then solved a similar problem, but this time they had only traveled 419 miles. I challenged them to use a different strategy to solve this problem than they did for the original problem.
I'm a wife, mother of two, and 4th grade teacher who is totally in love with her job! I teach math and science to roughly 40 kids a year. I've tried to model my classroom after this quote by Elliot Eisner - "When the joy is in the journey, the journey will be pursued." I feel very fortunate to work in an amazing school district, where it is commonplace to push students to their full potential and settle for nothing less. I truly feel blessed!!