Adding and Subtracting Decimals Chant {with a free poster}

This year we have a big focus on math for a few reasons. First reason being that our math data for the last few years has fallen more than a bit short of impressive. Second reason being that here in Texas we have new standards that start this year. With these new standards MANY things have changed completely, but most have become a more complex, deeper version of what they were. 

I am trying to be mindful that this is going to be a tough year for everyone, but of course I want my students to experience success. One thing that we are doing is creating short chants that help students to remember the steps to working with different numbers. 

One of our most successful chants has been for adding and subtracting decimals. While this chant is perfect for decimal numbers, it works for adding and subtracting ANY number which is a nice bonus. 
The chant is quite simple, I use it as a call and response like so...
(Teacher)Rule 1
(Class) Line em up!
(Teacher)Rule 2
(Class) Drop it down!
(Teacher)Rule 3
(Class) Fill 'em in!
(Teacher)Rule 4
(Class) Add or subtract!

I use the above mini poster (which you can click on to get your own copy) as a reminder. 

A little explanation:
"Line 'em up!" refers to lining up the place value by the decimal. If you are working with larger numbers you can also use the commas. 
"Drop it down!" also refers to the decimal, meaning to move it straight down into the answer area.
"Fill 'em in!" means to use zero as a placeholder in the empty place values.
"Add or subtract!" is exactly that. I like to have my students circle the symbol as a reminder of what they are doing on that particular problem. 
Now of course they are going to need some practice! I love to use this Decimals TicTacToe Board for practice because it allows a variety of ways for students to show their knowledge and provides automatic differentiation! I also use this Big Ten:Addition and Subtraction set of stations to hone my students skills. These stations are amazing for partner work, individual practice, or small group work for guided math. 


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