• Lizzie

Just Carry the One!!! or, how to strategize in this crazy world.

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

COVID-19 made me feel like a real math dunce. No matter I got to calculus in high school, Common Core Math strategies reduced me to self-loathing. My first-grade son and I sat at our kitchen table, staring at the computer screen. I'm not sure whose tears were more bitter.

We abandoned number line and number sentence strategies for "trampoline math." For every addition problem he got right, I double bounced him into the net. My retired next-door neighbor thought it was hilarious. I offset a fraction of the COVID-19 calories I ate every day—my son kind of figured out how to add tens. My toddler got bounced into happy oblivion for twenty minutes a day.

But this year is a different animal. He came home with a worksheet on Monday that echoed my own elementary school experience.

Kind of impromptu, he asked me to write addition problems for him last night. Not thinking, I gave him double-digit harder ones and showed him how to add down the column and to carry the one.

Holy cow. Look what he did five minutes later.

And he asked for more this morning for his commute to school (he wrote "save" for after school commute). And you know what he said to me?

"Mom! Why haven't I learned this strategy before?"

Last year he was in math intervention (pulled from the classroom because he wasn't at grade level) and he was on a READ plan (topic for another blog post). Today he can add triple and quadruple digits using the old-fashioned Carry the One learned at home.


I am inundated with books, podcasts, industry articles each proclaiming they have the best business strategy, design strategy, customer relations strategy, managing strategy, remote work strategy...

I wish someone would give me the Just Carry the One equivalent.

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