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By: Monica Neagoy & Jennifer Bay-Williams

In: Planting the Seeds of Algebra, PreK-2: Explorations for the Early Grades

Part : Exploration II. Subtraction: More Than Just “Take Away”

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Exploration II. Subtraction: More Than Just “Take Away”
Exploration II. subtraction: more than just “take away”

Addition and subtraction do not simply provide foundations for algebra (or vice versa); these arithmetic operations and algebra are intimately interrelated and mutually support learning in both domains.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2011a)

Photo by Monica Neagoy

Rationale for Exploration II
  • The concept of subtraction holds a position of prominence in preK-2 mathematics.
  • Algebraic thinking must be modeled with basic mathematical concepts. Treating arithmetic in algebraic ways begins with addition and subtraction: Working with equivalent numerical expressions and equations is a good start.
  • Technology tools compute more rapidly and efficiently than we do, so the bar has been raised for teaching arithmetic: Algebraic reasoning with numbers is the higher goal.
  • Understanding subtraction is more ...

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