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What Do You Do in Your Math Intervention Group?

So, I have a math intervention group.  I have done intervention lots of ways…and the thing is, there are always core things that kids struggle with.  Those things without a double are always addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts.  Next, they struggle with the standard regrouping algorithm.  And, why do they struggle? BECAUSE, of course, no one sits with them at home to help them learn these things if the concepts don’t sink in during school time.

Enter me.  I have been working with some students the past few weeks on subtraction regrouping…with success!  Here is what I have done, and what I have discovered.  First of all, several of the intervention students were able to regroup UNTIL they had to regroup across zeros.  They weren’t sure what to do when they had to borrow two places over.  How did I figure this out you ask?  Well, with my group of four students, I gave them a worksheet. (gasp!  a worksheet??!!) Yes, I gave them a worksheet and had them work a few and checked to see which ones they were getting correct and which ones they were missing.  I would have them work one problem and hand me the sheet to check.  This way they were getting immediate feedback.  During this time, I realized that they weren’t getting the answers right unless they borrowed across zeros or had to borrow two places over.  I used and am so thankful for Super Teacher Worksheets subtraction worksheet generator!  This conveniently allowed me to print a new worksheet (complete with answer key) when I felt they needed practice.

 

Now when I realized they needed help with regrouping across zeros, I realized there was a regrouping misunderstanding.  So, I used the Singapore math number discs method to show them what was happening when they were regrouping.  After showing them and having them do one with me, the next day they performed a lot better on their subtraction regrouping problems.  I have a SMART board lesson and worksheets if you would like some for students to practice with.  The grid is already made for the students…these however do not have seven digits like the worksheet above.

A few other things I did to help the students think about the regrouping process were.

  1.  Say this little rhyme…”More on the floor, go next door, and get 10 more”.  This way they would always know they were bringing ten over…not 9, not 8.
  2. Sometimes when students want to skip over a place value column, I would describe it as driving in traffic.  Your car doesn’t just fly over the other column, it has to change lanes one at a time…it can’t be a helicopter.
  3. Another idea I mention is place value columns in relation to the drawers in a cash register.  If you cash in your $100 bill for others, you trade it in for 10 $10, then you trade in the $10 for 10 $1 bills.

Try these things and soon you will be on your way to having expert subtraction regroupers!

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