Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Equation Formats: Multiple Addends

In addition to Story problems, Kal-El has also started working on equations with different "formats."  This thread starts with addition equations with more than two single-digit addends and eventually moves through one or more pairs of parenthesis in various positions, equations missing parts (2+?=4, ?+2=4, 3-?=1, 10/?=2, etc.,), and equations in which the parts are presented in a different order (4=2+?).  These presentations are available in the various AMS albums I have but are not expressly included in the AMI albums I have.  I printed out equation slips for all of the variations and they are in our math drawers.   All of the printables for these works were included as part of the Karen Tyler course that I participated in.

This week Kal-El started with equations that have more than two addends.  He has of course encountered many addends in the past through from the golden beads through to the dot game.  There is something special about seeing these on paper and unlike the "large" four-digit equations he did with the other materials, these have a simpler process of abstraction.  We are using the bead bars and a short version of the addition snake game to find the sums.  He is recording his work in the same booklet that he is using for Story problems except turned on its side.  It only took about ten equations to lead him to abstraction.  He is playing the "post memorization" version of the snake game and it didn't take long for him to mentally add parenthesis to these equations.


  1. Love the Boy Scouts outfit! We have recently explored the different ways of addends, it is actually a third grade standard here. Great work as usual!!

  2. Coincidence, but it wasn't me, D wrote equations with multiple addends for me to solve this week! Once I write the answer she verified whether I was right after adding! Fun times! You will see it in our weekly wrap-up. Thanks for the reminder to look into the Karen Tyler Printables, for the rest of the sequence!

  3. MttP,

    I can't tell you how NICE it is to have an online buddy doing almost all the same work we are at the same time. Makes me feel less alone :)


    Kal-El is SO excited you noticed his uniform. When I saw your comment I panicked and had to make sure the local badges and pack number wasn't showing (we're good!). He was wearing it that day because it was the day after the big annual banquet and he had received a new badge and some awards. He had me put on the new bling at breakfast and wore his uniform all day. I told him you noticed and he just BEAMED!

  4. I love boys in uniform :) SO handsome! Legoboy in his tae kwon do uniform was awesome, now he's in a new uniform as part of a "role model" team - and he grew 10 inches and 5 years the first time he put it on ;)

    The AMI albums don't expressly include those types of problems and I asked 'why' on many occasions - to the point of being annoying about it ;) The only half-way satisfactory answer I ever got was that the use of story/word problems helps them think through the processes involved; having the children come up with their own numbers, they will end up with long strings of numbers (multiple addends in the dot game, the snake game, for example), and since we are encouraging problem solving anyway.... Eh. This IS one area I would like to improve upon in the Keys albums - since those concepts are more environmental and helpful when there are 35 children in a 3 or 6 year span of ages, but not so much at home with just 1 or a few ;)

    It's right up there with writing and research skills - we homeschoolers have to provide a bit more structure that way, as compared to schools where you can feed the oldest children one year and it trickles down to the lower ages without much more input on the part of the adult.