Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Double digit ADDITION~ no algorithms allowed!

Do you remember how I was wishing for a snow day?  Wish granted!
  • Snow day!

The call came at about 5:15 a.m. and at about 7 a.m. my husband says, "Are you SURE school is canceled?  There isn't any snow!"  I jumped out of bed to see... no snow!  It didn't start really snowing until about 9 a.m!  Weird... the roads are fine- guess they wanted to be overly cautious.  It's all fine except this will be our 4th week of only 4 days... I just want a NORMAL week of school!  But the day off is great so I'm NOT complaining! :)

My last post gave you a sneak peek on addition without the traditional algorithms.

I have been teaching addition with algorithms for 14 years.  The thought of throwing that out the window made my head spin...literally!  At our last math meeting we were told that under the new Common Core there is absolutely no algorithms allowed.


So I went on a panicked hunt for some information regarding this and didn't find much out there.  We do not have our new text book yet (get it this May) and I had no idea how I was going to go about teaching my students when I had to learn it myself.

{Double GULP}

Enter this book:

It really opened my eyes on why we need to teach our students in the non-traditional way.

The author states that the "method" is not the objective, the ability to compute is the goal.  So true!  He also states that when adding in the traditional way:

We are so focused on having the children add from right to left which goes against everything else we teach them (not to mention READING!).  This can also devalue the digits themselves.  For example, traditionally, we separate the numbers and add down- 3 + 4 (ones) and then 5 + 2 (tens).  But wait... it SHOULD be: 50 + 20 yet the traditional method takes place value away from the digits themselves.

So I decided to "explore" other methods.  I had the kids solve a double digit problem without giving them any direction!  I was EXPECTING panic... but that is not what I got!  They came up with all kinds of ways!
Some drew circles and counted.  Some made tallies.  Some solved it by tens and then ones. And there was one.... that solved it that other way. :)
It was GREAT!  

I "introduced" (I put that in quotes because technically you are to let kids explore and not "teach" them methods- however I AM a teacher) a way called "split strategy"-
funny thing?  It makes TOTAL SENSE:

44 + 67= ?
40 + 60 = 100
    4 + 7 =   11 
You split the tens and the ones and then add them back together.  Nice!

Here is what has REALLY worked for me regarding this new way of teaching.  I had a place at the bottom of my sheets where the kids wrote a note to me.  I could check for their understanding or lack there of...

I love the honestly the kids have! 

I don't know why it took me so long to think of this because I could quickly read their notes and then group the papers to create partners- the ones who "get it" with the ones who need more help.

I had instant peer coaching and the kids LOVED working together.  We often pulled out the place value blocks to help with the visual piece.

This "new" way of teaching has created some kind of spark in me that has turned into a FIRE!!  So much so that I have created a giant resource!  I am hoping that it will help other teachers when they realize that the lovely algorithm will be out the window for them too!  :)     :)     :)

This pack has over 40 pages of parent letters, posters, detailed instructions, worksheets, and assessments to help you along the way! 

Want to read more about it?  Click Here :)

And yes you guessed it... I'm giving one away too!  I will choose ONE person who leaves a comment and email below.  Winner will be chosen on Thursday night!

Don't want to wait?  It is 20% off RIGHT NOW and will be only until Thursday night!
ps... Special thanks to Suzy and Tania for looking at my pack for me- such a BIG help! :)


  1. I just had a mini-heart attack. Teaching without algorithms makes me quite anxious. With that being said, your units look AWESOME, and would certainly help anyone struggling with this concept. Great job!! =)
    Sister Teachers

  2. This looks fabulous!
    Teaching in the Valley

  3. I so need this!!!!! We are moving on to this skill next and I've been doing a lot of thinking about strategies that won't require the standard algorithm...this would be perfect! It looks wonderful!
    Teacher Gone Digital
    teachergonedigital (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. This looks great! There are not many good resources for not using algorithms, so this would be so helpful. Meredith.mitchell@nhcs.net

  5. I teach first and we were also told not to use algorithms! Is this too advanced for first graders?

    1. Hi Jenn! This includes regrouping so that part may not work for you...however, I plan to break this up into just the parent letters/posters into its own pack... you might want that?? It would give you the strategies. If you win you could decide! :) Thanks for asking and for your interest!

  6. EveryDay Math teaches addition this way too! They call it the "Partial Sums" algorithm, but shhhh! Don't tell CCSS!! I would LOVE this, because you can never get enough practice, plus the parent letters will help to explain how it's done. I'm often having to "reteach" the kiddos because their parents show them how to add the way they were taught! Thanks for the opportunity to win :)

    Angela :)
    Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

    1. Ahh! I forgot my email address! angelanerby (at) hotmail (dot) com

  7. I love this way of teaching! It gives kids a deeper understanding of what they are actually doing when they are multiplying :)

    1. oops, forgot my email! maestra.kirra(at)gmail.com

  8. Wow, this looks awesome! Crossing my fingers... :)


  9. I love the Van de Walle book soooo much! It has totally changed the way I teach math.
    I would love this package, and are you thinking about maybe doing a subtraction one, too? :)

    1. oops, email. megansar@yahoo.com

    2. That is the plan Megan :) But I will probably put it together after I teach it myself... that seemed to work with this one... I liked having taught it so I know what is best to include in the pack :) Thanks for asking!

  10. Looks fantastic Tori! Will be passing the link on to the other teachers in my grade level, they are very interested so look for a multi licence purchase soon!

    Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

  11. This way looks so easy for kids to understand! I'd love to try it in my classroom. rykrbr@yahoo.com

  12. Well, you know I'm all in! Your unit looks great, from what I can preview, and I know it will be wonderful for lots of kids...all whose teachers win or buy it. I'd love to win, too, of course.

  13. I should also tell you about "using a tape measure or ruler as a number line on which to add or subtract" when you get to measurement standards. It's actually a pretty good strategy (not algorithm!) for double digits. Give it a try. Look here, too: http://www.k-5mathteachingresources.com/index.html

  14. I'm new to 2nd grade and CCSS, this would be a great help.

  15. Are you getting anything ready for the subtraction part without regrouping for strategies? We are starting the core also and we are not getting any new curriculum, it is find yourself and do. I think this looks great I worked with the partial sums also and didn't know much else to try.

    1. Hi!! Thanks for the question!! I'm working on subtraction right now actually. Boy, is that a lot harder to do!!! I've come up with just two strategies right now that work. Probably another one-two weeks and it will be ready to go (hopefully sooner than later!).

  16. Awesome...
    It will be homework for me, how to make my kids find it by themself.

  17. Thank you for this resource. In my wish list for my next buy.