Double Digit Regrouping

Aloha everyone! I hope this 2nd semester is starting out well for you.  Can you believe it is already mid January??

 I finished up my report cards this week and I am so happy they are out of the way.

Last week we started a new chapter in our math series.  Our lower elementary classes adopted the Go Math curriculum last year.  I like some aspects of it much better than Everyday Math, which we were using before.

Chapter 5 is 2 digit subtraction.  Since Go Math is aligned with the Common Core there are quite a few strategies to begin this chapter before we head into regrouping full force.

We practiced with manipulatives and I wanted to make sure that the students really understood what it meant to take a ten and break it up into ones.

The student book has a template to help students practice, but I wanted them to be able to use the template whenever they needed it, so I just created my own.

I just slipped them into sheet protectors for a quick sturdy mat.

So we practiced taking a ten and exchanging it for 10 ones.  It was easier for some of the students to see it using this mat.

Partners are also a great way to help out those that are still struggling with the concept.

Once we practiced with the mats for a few days we moved to using number and pictures.  

I created an anchor chart to help the students follow the steps of when to regroup.

Once students read through it with me, we practice as a whole group.

My students love to come up to the Elmo and work the problems out.  I place the chart right up on the board so that they can help anyone who gets stuck.

The next day we reviewed the steps and then I had the students write the steps on their own, in their math journals.

For some students this is a great way to see the steps again and to process a bit a further, than just hearing it or reading it.  They can also refer back to it when they forget what to do.

I think they are all off to a good start and will be pros in no time!

I created a poster with these same steps for you to use in your class if you like.  Just click on the picture and you can download it in Google Docs.

How do you teach regrouping?  It's always nice to hear about new ideas, so leave me a comment or a link to your favorite regrouping activity.


  1. Good Morning Corinna ! I am sitting at my desk during our first nutrition break....freezing cold here today, feels like -10 celsius with the wind chill (14 F). No surfin' here today :)
    We will be starting regrouping next month and I like your anchor chart...mine is too wordy. Thanks for the freebie and sharing the tips !

    1. I can't even imagine it being so cold! It's hard to get the wording right for everyone to understand sometimes. I think this is a keeper:)

    2. Love this! Does this work for double digit addition as well? I taught my students a quick way to do regrouping and now that we have access to manipulatives and are going back they are super confused as to how this breaks down in a tactile way. I want to provide building blocks for higher level math and really make sure they understand the concept of regrouping. Any suggestions?

  2. I teach 2nd grade in FL and we use Go Math as well. All those different strategies for teaching double digit subtraction drive me batty. My kids actually asked me this year why I didn't teach them the "normal" way first?

    We are working on Chapter 7 - triple digit addition and my kids are doing AWESOME!

    Thanks for the template and the poster!

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons

    1. I know Christina, breaking apart the number and then breaking apart the ones, threw my kids for a loop! All their homework came back with just the regular algorithm, lol!

  3. We did this same thing for the past two days! We used linking cubes and oversized place value mats I made a few years back out of different shades of green (different shade for each place on the mat). I love the idea of them literally taking a ten and regrouping it as 10 ones. I'm not going to lie, it's a bit tricky for a few of them.

    Tomorrow will be interesting because we're going to try to solve two digit subtraction problems without using the cubes!!

    I love how your workmat has them organize their ones. It gets messy over there when you regroup!!

    Primarily Speaking

  4. I have been meaning to make new place value mats for awhile, and I really like this version. Even though we used it, it's still hard for some to understand! Good luck tomorrow without the cubes!

  5. Thanks for sharing. i love the place value mat. We were suppose to start place value this week but we've been off for 2 days for flooding. So next week I'll be using the math.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Klass

  6. Hey Corinna,

    Can you tell that I just found your blog, since I've commented on so many posts!? Wanted to tell you to google the National Library of Virtual Mathematics website if you have never tried it before. Click on "Pre-K-2" and then "Base Blocks Subtraction." I put it up on the Promethean Board (could use a Smart Board if you have one) and show the kids how to drag the tens rod into the ones place. When you release the block it breaks up into ten ones. The kids think it's so cool and it really helps them visualize the trading process. Hope your kids like it as much as mine do!
    -Samantha :)

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  8. Thank you for this template! My school uses GO Math! and this is perfect for our small group and station work. Thanks!

  9. Thanks Corinna. We're actually starting this in about a week. My class is doing pretty well with Ch. 4 so I'm hoping subtraction will be a breeze... This poster will definitely help. Thanks again!

  10. I love the template! I teach first grade and we are just really getting into tens and ones, but I love the visual to help them keep their ones organized!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Inquiring Our Way Through First Grade

  11. This is amazing! Thank you so much for the poster! This will definitely come in handy!

  12. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! I have been almost in tears at a loss of how to teach this to my students who do not seem to understand! I am so happy that you shared this, and cannot WAIT to start using this to teach my kids this week!


Mahalo Nui Loa For Commenting!!

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