Number Sense Blog


    The Name of the Game: Denomination, Quantity, and SAMEness

    By Mathnasium | Added Jun 25, 2018

     Mathnasium illustrates that according to The Law of SAMEness, you can only add or subtract things that have the same name.

    When you add two apples with three apples you get five apples. When you add two bananas with three bananas you get five bananas.

    When you add two apples and three bananas do you get five banapples?

    You don’t get five banapples, just as if you add pennies and nickels you don’t get pickles. The reality is that you cannot add two things that have different names.

    According to The Law of SAMEness, you can only add or subtract things that have the same name.


    There are Four Principles to think about:

    Principle 1:

    A “thing” can be simple or complex. It could be as simple as a penny in your hand or as complex as the total number of eyes, noses, and fingers of all the people on Earth.

    Principle 2:

    Every thing has a name.

    The name is that thing’s denomination

    Principle 3:

    Things have a number associated with them. The number can be as general as singular and plural or as specific as a number (i.e. a person, several people, two apples, a half gallon milk, twelve days).  

    The number is the quantity of things we have.

    Principle 4:

    Combining Principles 1, 2, and 3, we learn to think in terms of:

    Quantity and Denomination = "How many – of what? 

    So, the “name" of today’s game is Denomination, Quantity, and SAMEness. 

    Quantity Principle


    Every thing in math has a name. This name gives the denomination of the thing, making it unique within a larger group of things.

    For example:

    Tuna, shark, and salmon are denominations of fish.

    Halves, quarters, and thirds are denominations of fractions.

    Pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters are denominations of coins.

    After knowing the name of some thing, you should also know the quantity of that thing in the given problem.

    For example:

    Three sharks                  quantity = 3

    Half of a dozen              quantity = ½ and 6

    Two hours in minutes   quantity = 120

    After distinguishing between the denomination and the quantity associated with each thing, it is important to understand the functionalities of these things. This calls attention to The Law of SAMEness.

    Mathnasium illustrates that according to The Law of SAMEness, you can only add or subtract things that have the same name.

    Keep the rules of quantity and denomination in mind will enjoy math more because the rules you have learned will make more sense to you! For more practice, work on these problems: 

    Larry Example 3

    Mathnasium illustrates that according to The Law of SAMEness, you can only add or subtract things that have the same name.

        

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    Before I came to Mathnasium, I could sum up everything I felt about math in one word: 'EVIL!' I hated math. ... Mathnasium has been my safe haven. They truly have shown me the light when it came to addressing my fear and provided me with the tools that I need to rebuild my prior knowledge so that I won't forget it. Math is no longer a subject I shy away from but it is a subject I can boldly accept and understand.

    Roxanne, 12th grade

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