Well, we gave a subtraction test this past Thursday, and MOST of my kids did pretty well. Which is a good thing, since we've been practicing subtraction pretty extensively for the past 2 weeks!!
The good news is that I started the year with about 4/5 of my kids thinking that 2-8=6 (not regrouping), and now I only have 4 or 5 kids that still do that on a regular basis. In fact, one of the questions on the test was "How do you know when you are supposed to regroup on a subtraction question?" I am pleased to say that all but about 3 of the kids answered something to the effect of "When you have a tiny top and a big bottom."
Of course, some of my kids who still don't regroup got that question correct, so they KNOW when they are supposed to regroup in theory, they just don't put it into practice...
What disappointed me was the other short answer question. Much like on our addition test, where I was looking for the word 'SUM,' I posed a similar question on this test:
What is the math word that means "the answer to a subtraction problem?"
The answer, of course, is "Difference." This is something that we have talked about repeatedly, used in word problems, and it was even up on the board on a Clue Word list. However, I only had 16 kids (out of 40) that got this question correct.
Wrong answers included the following:
Sum (I guess they missed it on the last test and hoped to jump on the bandwagon this time)
Check your work (Good advice, but does not answer the question)
How many more
Left (These words at least are subtraction clue words, but still don't answer my question)
Subtract (Too obvious, kid)
And my personal favorite (*SARCASM ALERT!!*):
Yeah, the answer to a SUBTRACTION problem is called "The Addition."
Just when I thought we had mastered the concept of opposites...