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8. Subtraction

This week we are learning about subtraction.

We introduced the - symbol and discussed that it means we take an amount away.

When we subtract, the number gets smaller. 


We began by joining in with the 5 little snowmen song, we represented the numbers on our fingers during the song.


We then watched the Numberblocks 'Holes' episode to learn about counting up and down to 5...

We practised taking different amounts away using objects, we used the questions... 'How many ... are there in the pile? How many ... have you taken away from the pile? How many ... are there altogether?

We used birds sitting on a wall as an example, we introduced the stem sentences…

First there were 5 on the wall.
Then ___ bird flew off the wall.

Now there are ___ birds on the wall.

Next we used our tens frames to carry out some subtraction. We put 5 cubes on the tens frame, we then took one away to find out how many were left. We wrote the number sentence to match using the - and = symbols. 

Practise taking away different amounts practically and writing the corresponding number sentence at home.


We introduced the children to subtraction stories. We drew a picture of a snowman with 6 buttons. We modelled 2 buttons falling off by crossing them out. We then asked the children 'how many buttons are left?' and constructed the number sentence together ... 6-2=4.

Next we drew 4 Christmas puddings on a table, the children were encouraged to help construct a subtraction story such as 'There were 4 Christmas puddings, Mr Smith ate 2 (cross out 2) there were 2 left'. They repeated this with 6 snowballs and wrote the number sentences to match.

The children were encouraged to make up their own subtraction stories by drawing pictures and crossing them out, they had a try at writing the corresponding number sentence to match too.