The Valley School

Life at Valley

Smart Subtraction Strategies!

Smart Subtraction Strategies! Third grade math students are reviewing and practicing different ways to subtract numbers. By third grade, our Valley students should demonstrate mastery in their simple addition and subtraction facts, but, as they move into adding and subtracting larger numbers, it’s essential we revisit the meaning of subtraction and various methods we can use to show the process of finding the difference.

Our third grade students use manipulatives and engage in three different strategies to deepen their understanding of subtraction. First, they used a number line to count on from the subtrahend up to the minuend. You ‘jump’ along the number line in steps of 1, 5 or 10 until you reach the minuend and then total up the ‘jumps’ to find the difference between the two numbers. After a couple of days of using this method, the children took it a step further by continuing to count-on from the subtrahend up to the minuend, but this time without using a number line. This week students reviewed and practiced modeling the “Re-Grouping” strategy. (You might have called this “borrowing” or “carrying” when you were learning math.) This strategy also involves use of our base-ten manipulatives as students literally trade or “re-group” groups of tens for ones in order to subtract more easily.

Our goals are to expose our students to a number of useful strategies so they can find one that works best for them, and for them to understand and communicate the process of subtraction. We also want our students to play with numbers, algorithms and strategies and to know that there is always more than one way to solve a math problem. Ask your student which strategy he/she likes best and to model it for you at home.
The Valley School Auction - Community at Work and Play

The Valley School Auction - Community at Work and Play Events like The Valley School auction on November 7th, take the collaborative efforts of many parents and students. The annual auction has historically been a time that parents can contribute to the school in a wide variety of ways. The planning committee is at the heart of it all, organizing and firming up details that result in the event running smoothly. In addition, there were parents in each classroom that headed up the class art projects, including the one in the photograph above, class reps who sent auction communications out, parents who donated to the auctioned items, photo books that were created of all our students, sixth grade alumni who helped at the event, volunteers who set up and cleaned up, and all the parents who helped make the auction a success by bidding on the items.

Traditions On Friday, October 30th, Valley School students and faculty participated in a traditional Halloween event, by parading around the block of our Madison Valley neighborhood. Parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors, including two neighborhood horses, lined the block to watch the procession. Students and parents look forward to traditions such as The Valley School Book Awards, the faculty Halloween Play, family outdoor camp, Friday all-school sing, Winter Extravaganza, Spring Art Show, buddies, fifth grade camp at Islandwood, and many multi-cultural celebrations throughout the year. Our Community Alliance of Parents (CAP) is creating new traditions, with our second community Carnival scheduled for May. At Valley School, we embrace childhood and recognize it is a time to cherish, not rush.
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Upcoming Events

Noon Dismissal - Thanksgiving Break
Date: 11/25/2015
No School - Thanksgiving Break
Date: 11/26/2015 11/27/2015
Winter Extravaganza- MLK Community Center
Date: 12/18/2015, 9 AM 10 AM
Winter Break - No School
Date: 12/21/2015 12/25/2015

We are a pre-kindergarten through 5th grade, independent school located in Seattle's Madison Valley. We carefully attend to the individual development of each child and encourage their innate passion for learning through intellectual exploration, imaginative thinking and the practice of kindness.

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Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.