## Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Subtraction Houses - Section 2: Teaching the Lesson

Using the houses and base ten blocks to solve a problem and model with mathematics (MP4), is easier each time students try it. Initially the idea of having to build with the blocks seems time consuming to some students who can do the math in their heads. They want to know why they have to go through all these "useless" steps. The modeling step is very important. Eventually students will come to some problem that they can't solve in their heads. They need a strategy to employ when that happens. They need to know that building, drawing or in some other way modeling what they are trying to do will help them figure out the problem.

Using the blocks gets easier as students work with the process. Addition is easier for students, but after solving several subtraction problems, the students see what is expected and enjoy acting as trains to push the matching blocks off of the house. They add their own train noises as they bring a block from upstairs, match it to a downstairs block and drive them both out of the house.

The process takes time to explain, but the time is well worth the conceptual understanding that is emerging as students manipulate the blocks.

Easier the Second Time
Adjustments to Practice: Easier the Second Time

# Subtraction Houses

Unit 11: The Numbers Are Getting Bigger
Lesson 5 of 15

## Big Idea: Who lives in each room of the house and can we travel through the house as we subtract?

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Math, Number Sense and Operations, base ten, place value strategies, subtraction alrogrithm
55 minutes

### Beth McKenna

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