Math Madness Wednesday: Subtraction Tips and Tricks

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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.
Math ten frames center basketballs cover picture
 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 on Wednesday, March 26th!
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 reading my Math Wednesday blog posts!  You can only get it on Educents for one-day only on Wednesday!
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!

About the All-Star Blogger

My name is Krista Mahan (aka Teaching Momster).  I taught for over 12 years, mostly in 3-5th grades and have also home schooled my kids for a few months as we prepared for a big move (our family moved from Indiana to California….huge transition, especially for my son who is autistic).  I now get to stay at home, blog, create products for teachers, and volunteer in my kids’ classrooms.  Basically, I get to do everything I love!  Click HERE to see my store!