# Adding and subtracting on a number line

(7 Posts)
Marsis Mon 30-Mar-20 16:52:37

Could anybody help with a way of explaining this, I’m pulling my hair out with DD y1. Since being home I notice she doesn’t have much ‘sense of number’ but can do simple adding and subtracting mainly with fingers, using cubes too but she uses them just like fingers adding and taking away one by one.

The concepts on 10s and 1s are there but she doesn’t apply/know to use them in the moment.

School work had some sheets with number lines asking us to get the children to use the number line. I showed her about jumping forward for adding and backward for subtracting but it doesn’t seem to be sinking in and she doesn’t check answers ‘for sense’ eg 6+6=6 she didn’t think this would be wrong and was adamant it was correct until I got her to work it out with fingers.

I’m still working so can’t spend hours on and she doesn’t seem to care or want to understand so it quickly becomes frustrating.

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overlywrong Mon 30-Mar-20 17:03:35

Maybe try a hundred square instead, you can print these off from google and use a counter or something so she physical has to move something and then get her to count up or down that way.

Marsis Mon 30-Mar-20 17:06:38

Thank you I’ll try it. I know that some methods don’t ‘click’ but wasn’t sure if it ‘mattered’ that she didn’t understand. I’ll try some other methods.

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OhioOhioOhio Mon 30-Mar-20 17:10:00

I've ordered place marking dots for the floor from amazon with numbers on so my child has to physically jump. If you can write them in chalk in the garden or something? Shoe an addition and ask, will you have to jump to a bigger number or a smaller number? Will it be a more number or a less number? Rumicon sell number lines for £3ish on amazon. We are using a lego man for the jumping too.

You could also just practise showing plus and subtraction signs. She Co ld do wide open arms for an addition and scrunch up into a tiny ball fir a subtraction.

TrashKitten10 Mon 30-Mar-20 17:14:10

Teacher here and it sounds like she isn't secure yet with the concrete representations of numbers (cubes and objects) and is therefore struggling to jump into the more abstract concept of numbers on a number line.

I'd try to steer away from using fingers as this could be complicating matters even more if she is dealing with numbers beyond ten. Try as much as possible though to use real objects alongside the number line. For example trying to work out 6 + 6 place six objects- coins, beads, crayons etc on the number line so each number has a corresponding object. Then talk about what the '+' means, do we need to add more or take some away? Then get her to physically add another six objects and count the total so she can see the twelve objects lined up against the twelve numbers. You can then put your finger on number six and hop six spaces up the number line to check.

Don't stress you and DD out about it though and just try to get lots of real life number into your day in more fun ways. Board games are a great introduction to the concept of numbers lines as they help children to understand moving forward a number of spaces from a given point. Also try to involve DD in real life number problems. "I'm not going shopping for a few days so we need to make things last. We've got 6 oranges left so how many would we have if we each had one for lunch? I've only got one banana so I'm going to add 5 more to the asda order, how many will I have then? Is that enough for us all?" Good luck!

wishing3 Mon 30-Mar-20 17:17:05

She needs to understand why the moving on/back on the number line is a way to add/subtract. A first stage off adding would be maki g to groups then putting them together and counting the total. The leap that she might be unsure of is counting on. For this I would make the two groups (eg a 5 and a 4 for 5+4) using counters/grapes/whatever. Then cover the first group and write the number on it. Then point to the covered group saying ‘5’ and count on while moving the counters in the second group. Then you can move to not bothering to represent the first group with counter. Then if you stepped back to a number line your daughter might understand the reasoning behind it a bit better. I hope this makes sense!

Marsis Mon 30-Mar-20 18:49:12

Thank you all for the advice. We’re doing it on with maths link cubes too. I usually give her the first number say it was 6 + 3 i would give her the 6 and she would work out the 3 but break it all up and count them singly rather than counting on. I’m surprised by how much she seems to be struggling as she’s at ‘expected’ level apparently.

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