Math Madness Wednesdays: Subtraction Tips and Tricks

Subtraction can be SO tricky for kids!  

One of the struggles I have seen at home and at school is subtracting, especially with borrowing!  My daughter had the BIGGEST struggle with this concept when she was younger.  She could not understand why you couldn’t just subtract the smaller digit from the larger digit, no matter where that number was located.  Obviously, she didn’t understand the concept of subtraction.  So, we played some games!  The tens frames seemed to help her “see” the subtraction better.

This one is PERFECT right now for MARCH MADNESS basketball enthusiasts!  Students spin the spinner and take that number of basketballs “away” by covering the basketballs on the game board with the basketball game pieces (included).  They then make a subtraction problem (all of the problems start with 10).  A recording sheet is included so they can keep track of the problems and the answers.


If your kiddos are still struggling with addition as well, I have an addition version of this basketball game.  In fact, Educents is offering a 2-for-1 deal on these games!  

Older kids still struggle with subtracting too!  When I was teaching 4th grade, I had some kids who had the same struggles, especially when there were zeros on the top.  So, we started digging in to the REASON that we borrow.  We tried different methods of subtracting.  We used place value blocks, story problems, and money to act it out.  Finally, they understood the concept, but sometimes they still “forgot” as they were subtracting larger numbers.  I used these posters to help them remember what to do.

I heard them use these phrases to help each other during group work.  Once they understood the concept, they then just needed a quick reminder of what to do with the numbers.  My “More on the Top” poster and practice sheets pack is usually for sale for $1.50, but this week, I am making it available for YOU to download for free as a THANK YOU for following my blog!  You can only get it by following this link  

How do you help your kiddos struggling with subtraction?  I would love to hear more great ideas!  Link up with your blog post and/or product!

Until next time,

I’m also linking up with Nancy from Teaching with Nancy for her TGIF weekly freebie linky!


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