Action Objectives for Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division

Students should be able to identify events in daily living that depict ...

addition (+) as “just” combining (combining any amounts, like assembling the parts of a car),

subtraction (–) as “just” separating (separating into any amounts, like whittling a stick),

multiplication (x) as combining “neatly” (combining equal amounts, like putting nickels in a piggy bank), and

division (÷) as separating “neatly” (separating into equal amounts, like spending \$1 for snacks everyday).

Note that the signs for the operations picture the combining and separating actions they represent:

• Those for addition (+) and multiplication (x) are both made of what look like crossed sticks to show combining, and the multiplication sign looks like it is rolling to suggest fast addition (like 5x7 instead of 7+7+7+7+7).

• Those for subtraction (–) and division (÷) are both made with a slash like a knife would make in cutting (separating) something, and the slash for the division sign has dots on either side of it to suggest cutting carefully or “neatly into equal portions.

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