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Post a message or simply read what others have written and answered. Rachel, a RightStart™ Math user and one of our customer care people, will be monitoring this forum. She will respond to your questions as needed.

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2nd Edition, Level E, Lesson 26-27

Dear RightStart,

I have called Kathleen Cotter about this as well but have not heard anything back from her that I thought I'd try the website and see if there was some help there. I did not find anything specific to my questions so I am starting the topic.

In lesson 26-27, both note the parent reading the explanation to be familiar with it myself before teaching it. Honestly, I don't 'see' how the guide got it either and so am having trouble getting it myself, nonetheless explaining it to my son. I don't see explanation for me as the teacher beyond what is given. How does studying it provide an explanation? I do agree with the answer but the "Two more are needed. So we write -2." is, I think the tripping point. I found this confusing.

I think this may have to do with how/doing negative numbers. My son has been struggling with it and I find it interesting, surprising, and confusing that Lesson 24 brings in negative numbers but doesn't want any teaching about them. How are we to use them unless we teach something? This seems 'off' to me. I don't remember, now, if my son learned negative numbers in our past years with RightStart or not.

So, when we have Lesson 26 noting 87-49=40-2=38 I think what really is happening is 7-9, which is -2 (negative 2) and explaining that with 40-2 is surprising and difficult without any teaching about how to work with negative numbers. Is my study leading to my explanation that -2+40=38 ? Is this "explanation" not recommended?

Heather Perry

Re: 2nd Edition, Level E, Lesson 26-27

Hi, Heather. My name is Rachel and I am happy to help you today.

Thank you for your post. I am sorry for the delay in responding. With the holidays, we have been a little behind. ;-)

I spoke with Kathleen and she did not receive a voice message. Not sure what happened there, but I will see if I can help you on this one.

The way I explained this one to my children (my daughter most recently), is not in negative number terms.

87 - 49

First of all, this looks like a hard subtraction equation. Let's make it much easier. We will first look at the tens: What is the difference between 80 and 40? 40.

Now, let's look at the ones place. 7 - 9. What is the difference between the 7 and the 9? 2. Now, is the first number bigger than the second number? No. The number '7' is less than the number '9' (I used the term 'less than' to help my children think 'subtraction'). Because it is less than, we need to subtract the '2' from the 40.

So our new problem is 40 - 2 which gives us 38.

Also, as far as reading the explanation, the Lesson tells you to have the student read the explanation on the worksheet several times before working through the worksheet - making sure they understand the process. It is not referring to the explanations in the Lessons Manual.

I hope that helps! Of course, please do not hesitate to repost here if you have any further questions. Or you can email us at or call us at (888)272-3291.

Have a fabulous day!