Sunday, April 16, 2017

npm17 numbers 15 & 16

April 15

A Strategy You Can Count On
  for Joey

First I had to learn
what a strategy is.
You can have a strategy for a lot of things:
doing a cartwheel (stretch as high as you can
before you start),
carrying your lunch tray (lay your bottle of milk
on its side),
keeping b and d straight (thumbs up
for b and d!).

So this strategy is my favorite. My dad taught me.
It works for addition AND subtraction. 
You just COUNT ON.

If the problem is 4 + 9,
I like to start with the bigger number,
so I think “9” and then I count on 4 more,
one finger for each number, and I say “10, 11, 12”
and I land on 13. See?

If the problem is 13 – 4, I have to start
with the smaller number, so I think “4”
and then I count on until I get to 13,
one finger for each number,
“5, 6, 7, 8, 9.10, 11,12, 13,”
and how many fingers is that?  It’s 9,
so the answer is 9.

And if the problem is 4 + __ = 13
that works the same way,
and if the problem is __ - 4 = 9
it seems like it should work the same way
but 5 doesn’t make sense, so I’m still figuring that out.

Another thing that doesn’t make sense
is why I don’t get P for Proficient
when I use my COUNT ON strategy,
because I’m really good at it.

draft ©HM 2017

April 16

My teacher says you can't take
a bigger number from a smaller one.
She's wrong.
You just have to be hero enough
to make the leap to less than zero.


  1. Hooray for Joey and his strategies! And hooray for every hero who leaps to less than zero!

  2. This is such a cute poem. Share on my FAcebook page @SirChocolateBooks