Carrying and Borrowing – A Story Solution

Ladder Carrying:

A difficult concept for some students to understand is carrying. Once the students are introduced to double digits in addition this element becomes very important.

Many children on seeing 22 + 19 will state the answer as 311. Do you see the problem? The child did not carry the one from 2 + 9.

Children respond well to stories and use them as memory tools. Try the following story to describe carrying.

Let the child know that they are on the right track and just has to add another step. Try to get them to think of it like this: Show the student that there is an invisible ladder between the numbers. Drawing a picture of a ladder can really help.

Set your math problem with the largest amount above the smaller amount. Then draw a picture of a lader between the 2’s of 22 and the 1 and 9 of 19.

If they add 2 + 9 they equal a number with two digits (11). Tell the student that one of the numbers in the answer has to stay at the bottom and hold the ladder while the other one climbs to the top. Then show them how to add 1 + 2 + 1.

For borrowing try this simple story.

Bridge Borrowing:

A similar process can be used with borrowing. For example:

Explain to the child that there is a bridge between the top numbers of the math problem. When on of the numbers is too small to subtract from explain that one person from the left side of the bridge wants to cross over and visit his friend on the right side.

For example if we subtract 31 – 19 we can see that there are not enough people on the right side (the 1 in 31). So a friend from the tens place crosses over the bridge. Show them that if there are 3 people on the left and 1 crosses over the bridge, it leaves 2 people.

The 1 that crossed over is visiting his friend and stands beside him. This makes the number on the right side of the bridge 11. Then show the student how to take away 9 from 11 and 1 from 2.

Ask your child to make up a stroy for a problem they are having. Putting math into words makes it more understandable!