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As a student, I always enjoyed math. In high school I took all of the offered math classes, including Calculus. The first math class I took in college was a breeze, and I thought that this one would be no different. What could I learn about elementary school math that I did not already know? Contrary to my expectation, the first day of class, I learned things about math that had never been brought to my attention. This paper will discuss what I have learned about subtraction, about students, about the Common Core State Standards, and how my concept map has changed since my first draft.
Cardinality and Subitizing
Cardinality and subitizing are not topics encountered in everyday life, unless you happen to be a math education*…show more content…*

Again, knowing the label “subitizing” aided me in becoming comfortable discussing mathematics. The new vocabulary I learned was an important part of becoming more mathematically fluent, but alone cardinality and subitizing are not enough to fluently compute numbers.
Place Value and Unitizing
Understanding place value is integral to mathematics, and is especially for addition and subtraction. Being able to easily rearrange numbers between place values is required for most addition and subtraction problems. Part of grasping place value is being able to unitize. Fosnot and Dolk explain unitizing to be “a child’s construction of the logic to think of 10 flexibly as ten 1’s or as one unit of 10” (Taylor, Breck, & Aljets, 2004, p. 140). Unitizing is what makes “borrowing” in subtraction possible. If a problem is 32 – 16, one of the three tens must be broken up into units in order to subtract; being able to see 32 as 3 tens and 2 ones and as 2 tens and 12 ones is what makes the problem possible. Place value and unitizing have much to do with a comprehension of base ten, but they are not exclusive to base ten. For example, one could apply the idea of place value and unitizing to base five. The number 18510 would be written as 12205. The place values would then be 125, 25, 5, and 1 (instead of 1000, 100, 10, and 1), and 12205 would be understood as one 125, two 25s, and two 5s. Unitizing would allow for someone to

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