# Math Update

We continued to practice our subtraction strategies during our math switch time this week.  Our first graders are becoming experts at proving their work with math mountains and subtraction equations.  We are beginning to rely less and less on circle drawings… although we do encourage the use of this strategy for proving our answers and solving equations if we are stuck.

We also learned how to use our orange quilt cards to practice solving subtraction equations using the “counting up” strategy.  Since we aren’t able to write on our quilt cards, “counting up” took the place of using a circle drawing.  Check out the explanation below:

We ended the week with a Quilt Card Challenge!!!  Our first graders practiced counting-on to find the total on our red addition cards, counting-up to find the missing partner on our yellow addition cards, and counting-up to find the the missing partner on our orange subtraction cards.  The Quilt Card Challenge really got tricky when we asked to kids to mix up all the cards and alternate between all three.  The “challenge” in this task was making sure to stop and think, “Am I looking for the total or the partner?”, and then choosing the appropriate method to find the correct answer.  If we are looking for a partner, we encourage our first graders to count-up (like above).  If we are looking for the total, we encourage our first graders to count-on.  Many of our first graders were not tricked by the challenge – even when the cards were all mixed up!!  What amazing fact fluency!!

Next week, we will begin solving missing total stories along with some subtraction and missing partner stories too!!  This will be another challenge indeed, but we know if our first graders stop and think about the language in the story – they will be able to identify which strategies to use!