Teaching children subtraction effectively

Even though subtracting numbers is more difficult than adding them, most people can do it in a matter of seconds. You may be able to answer problems like 10 – 5 or 8 – 4 very rapidly since you have memorized subtraction concepts from elementary school.

Meanwhile, young children are making every effort to master the fundamentals. What is the best way to teach children to accurately calculate two-digit numbers in their heads? You must first establish a mathematical foundation.


Continue reading to learn how to teach subtraction to young children, as well as what teaching tactics to avoid when teaching subtraction to children.

Learning subtraction

Subtraction is one of the first arithmetic concepts that children learn, along with addition, when they begin school. Subtraction is taught in schools in a stepwise manner. It is common for it to occur as early as pre-kindergarten. Teachers use this period to expose toddlers to the concepts of gains and losses, as well as the arithmetic operations that represent them.

When children begin to correlate numbers with objects, they quickly recognize that they can quantify and represent losses in mathematical terms.

It is not to overload students with sophisticated subtraction theory all at once, children struggle with this operation nevertheless. You may assist your youngster in learning subtraction by employing easy teaching tactics in the classroom. Learn more about subtraction as well as four ways for teaching it to kindergarten and first-grade students by continuing reading.

Breaking good in subtraction

Keep your child’s attention by not bombarding him or her with all of the subtraction facts at once. Instead, divide the data down into smaller groupings to make them more digestible. This method of breaking down the subtraction facts makes understanding them to seem much more manageable. And achievable (for kids and parents). In addition, your kid will gain confidence as she begins with the easy -1 and -2 facts and progresses to the more difficult ones as she learns them.


Similar to the missing component in the addition facts, this phase is crucial in allowing children to grasp the subtraction facts with comprehension rather than simply mindless memorizing of data. You’ve narrowed your attention to a single tiny collection of information to focus on. It is now necessary to educate your youngster on how to perceive numbers and use an effective method in order to discover the correct answers.

You may be shocked to learn that visualizing quantity is an important stage in the process. Consider the state from the viewpoint of a youngster. If you ask most youngsters to think about numbers. They would most likely see a jumble of jumbled counters in their heads. As an example, a toddler attempting to subtract 10 from 4 imagines taking away 4 counters from a pile of 10 counters. It is to arrive at the answer. Despite the fact that he is aware of the necessity to determine how many counters are left. It is the only approach he has for adding them all up is to count each counter one by one or to count on his fingers.

It’s no surprise that our brains are incapable of keeping track of that many disorderly counters at the same time. And that he’ll ultimately need to recall each and every subtraction fact one by one. Children, on the other hand, may break out from the cycle of counting and remembering by seeing numbers as structured groupings.

About the Author

Lisa Lee

Lisa Lee

I am a Parsons School of Design graduate with a certified teacher's license. At Gooroo, my passion is to educate students through an artist's approach, which requires critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving. During the elementary years, I think that students broaden their perspective and expression through art, and this skill can be applied to any other fields of study later on. I believe that a true educator can be the key to unlocking every child's potential. Gooroo is a tutoring membership that matches students to tutors perfect for them based on their unique learning needs. Gooroo offers Math, English, SAT, Coding, Spanish tutoring, and more.