WEC Andover Elementary School > Math Support
February 25
Math Games

We all know that children enjoy playing games. Experience tells us that games can be very productive learning activities. But what educational benefits are there to be gained from games?


Benefits of Using Games
The advantages of using games in a mathematical program have been summarized in an article by Davies (1995) who researched the literature available at the time.


·         Meaningful situations - for the application of mathematical skills are created by games
·         Motivation - children freely choose to participate and enjoy playing


·         Positive attitude - Games provide opportunities for building self-concept and developing positive attitudes towards mathematics, through reducing the fear of failure and error;
·         Increased learning - in comparison to more formal activities, greater learning can occur through games due to the increased interaction between children, opportunities to test intuitive ideas and problem solving strategies
·         Different levels - Games can allow children to operate at different levels of thinking and to learn from each other. In a group of children playing a game, one child might be encountering a concept for the first time, another may be developing his/her understanding of the concept, a third consolidating previously learned concepts
·         Assessment - children's thinking often becomes apparent through the actions and decisions they make during a game, so the teacher has the opportunity to carry out diagnosis and assessment of learning in a non-threatening situation
·         Home and school - Games provide 'hands-on' interactive tasks for both school and home
·         Independence - Children can work independently of the teacher. The rules of the game and the children's motivation usually keep them on task.
Websites for Math Games
Davies, B. (1995). The role of games in mathematics. Square One . Vol.5. No. 2


February 19
2 Digit Addition/Subtraction

"Demonstrate an understanding of addition (limited to 1 and 2-digit numerals) with answers to 100 and the corresponding subtraction by: using personal strategies for adding and subtracting with and without the support of manipulatives; creating and solving problems that involve addition and subtraction; explaining that the order in which numbers are added does not affect the sum; explaining that the order in which numbers are subtracted may affect the difference."
New Brunswick Grade 2 Math Curriculum


Two digit addition and subtraction is first taught in grade 2. Parents are often unaware of the strategies that students are being taught and do not understand why the traditional algorithms they were taught for solving addition and subtraction is not used.
Traditional algorithms are taught later in elementary school, but at the early stages it is important for students gain a strong number sense and understanding of place value.


PSSC Math Presentation.pdfPSSC Math Presentation.pdf

January 30
Parent Workshop!

Now that your child has a good understanding of basic addition facts, it is time to move on to double digit addition. AES will be providing a Parent Workshop on Tuesday, January 28th at 7pm.

At this time we will show parents the strategies that students are learning to add 2 digit numbers and also touch on some subtraction strategies as well.

Please post any questions you have in the comments section of this blog in order to be sure that they are addressed at the workshop.

See you there!

January 30
Making 10 (Bridging)

​Make Ten is a key strategy for any addition facts with an 8 or a 9. We want students to think “How many more are needed to make 10?” and then “How many are left over?”

For example: 8 + 7
How many more are needed to make 10? 2!
If the 2 is taken from the 7, how many are left over? 5!
So, 8 + 7 is 10 + 5, or 15.
Key subskills are knowing how many more are needed to make 10 (bonds of 10), and how much is left after that step (-1 or -2). The near numbers one less and two less should be practiced using ten frames and dot plates. The near number page also has other strategies.
One way to help students record their thinking is to use branch diagrams to show how they partitioned the numbers.

This ability is also used in later years for multi digit computations, such as 28 + 7. It forms a key subskill in developing jump strategies for performing multidigit addition and subtraction.

January 30
Basic Addition Facts

Below are some Basic Addition Fact Posters. These are the way that many strategies are taught in the classroom. Some students may use different names for the strategies, but the concepts are the same.

The posters are attached in the order that most teachers will introduce the strategies. Students in Grades 2-5 should already know all of the Addition Strategies, however students in Grade 1 may have only been introduced to a few at this point in the school year.

Please take a look at the "Making Ten (Bridging)" blog. This is a more complicated strategy that students often need extra instruction and greater number sense skills to use.

January 14
Mental Math

Ask math teachers what they would like their students to know and be able to do and the recall of basic math facts will undoubtedly rank high on most of their wish lists. Teachers recognize that once their students know 2 + 5, those students are better able to explore 20 + 50 or 22 + 55. Teachers recognize that students will have an easier time finding the solution to $1.20 + $1.50 or .21 + .53. As math tasks become more complex, we want our students to have a solid foundation for success. Mas­tery of basic facts provides the foundation for everyday mental math tasks.  


Mental Math concepts are not a skill that was focused on greatly until recent years; therefore many caregivers do not understand the strategies that are being taught to their children.  AES has taken a special effort to not only educate your children, but also we are extending an educating hand to caregivers, in order to help provide an environment at home that can assist and nurture the learning that is taking place in the classroom.
Check back with this blog for more information and resources that will help your child succeed with math.
Coming Soon!
Basic Addition & Subtraction Facts Strategy Posters
Double Digit Addition Strategies







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