# Subtraction within 10

We are going to look at three strategies for subtraction: subtraction by crossing out, subtraction using our knowledge of number bonds, and subtraction by counting backwards. As we have already covered number bonds and counting backwards, as well as "one less", some of the skills needed will be familiar to your child, and through work on Addition within 10, so will the format of a number sentence or equation.

## Hands On Subtraction Within 10

• Keeping it real. As always, the best way to start is with real objects. Assemble 10 objects (beans, beads, bricks etc) and give your child a number of them, starting with only 2 or 3. Count the objects together. Now discuss what would happen if you took 1 away. Take it away and count the remaining object(s). Turn it into a number sentence: You had 3 beans. I took 1 away. You have 2 beans left. So 3 take away 2 makes 1.
• Sweeties. There's nothing like a collection of smartees or similar sweets to keep your child interested in subtraction! Start with 10 and count them out. What happens if you eat 2? So 10 take away 2 makes 8. What happens if you eat 2 more? So 8 take away 2 makes 6. And so on!
• Vocabulary. Introduce the vocabulary of subtraction into every day conversation. Using "take away" makes more sense at this early stage, as well as "equals" or "is the same as",  "makes" or "leaves".
• Songs and rhymes. Many children first learn the concept of "taking away" with favourite children's songs and nursery rhymes, like "Five Currant Buns", "Ten Green Bottles", "Five Little Monkey" and "Five Little Speckled Frogs." You will find our printable versions and lots of fun videos too in our Number Symbols section.

## Subtraction by Crossing Out

• Paper and pencil. Write a simple subtraction equation in large numbers leaving lots of space around it - for example, 4 - 2 =. Read it out to your child: "4 take away 2 makes ...." Now draw 4 dots or small circles above the 4, and then, explaining what you are doing, cross 2 of them out. Count how many are left. "So 4 take away 2 makes 2".
• Line them up. Grab a pen and paper and draw a line of a number of simple objects - circles, stars etc. Ask your child to count them, then say you want to take some away. Ask your child to "cross out" that number. Now ask your child to count the remainder.
• Cross them out cards. Use our printable double-sided cross them out cards (in the Resources section below). Put a row of cards out and count them. Now ask your child to "take away" a certain number by turning them over. Count the remaining pictures.
• Worksheets. We have a variety of Subtraction by Crossing Out worksheets for practice below.

## Subtraction Using Number Bonds

• Revise number bonds. Some children will instinctively understand subtraction as one part of the number bond equations and they learned earlier. If 3 and 4 make 7, then 7 take away 4 must be 3.
• Hands on practice. Grab a collection of small objects and 2 small containers or paper plates. Count (say) 5 objects in one container. Now ask your child to "take away" 3 to the other container. How many are left? Show them that we can represent this as the sum 5 take away 3 leaves/makes 2, or 5 - 3 = 2.
• Use number bond bracelets (instructions for making these here). If there are 5 beads on the bracelet, ask the child to move 2 apart and count how many are left.
• Worksheets. There are a variety of different Subtraction using Number Bond Worksheets in the Resources below.

## Subtraction by Counting Back

• Revise skills. Children will already have practiced counting back from a particular number, as well as worked on "one less".
• Use for 1, 2 or 3 but not more. Counting back can be a useful strategy but for more numbers it can be difficult for children to hold the numbers in their heads.
• Heads and fingers. Put the first number in your head, and then count down by the number of digits you are taking away. So for 8 - 2 you would put 8 in your head (point to your head and say 8) then count down with 2 fingers ... 7, 6. The answer is 6.
• Use number lines or numbered ten towers. Choose a number line from our collection here or one of our numbered ten towers. Put your child's finger on the large number and then "hop back" the required number to find the answer.
• Make it physical. Draw a number line in chalk outdoors. Start your child on the large number and "hop back" to find the answer.
• Worksheets. You will find worksheets below which give children practice at subtraction by counting back.

## Subtraction by Crossing Out Worksheets Set 2

By using a "ten tower" full of counters - which the children can cross out to work out these subtraction equations - children may be able to see the numbers to take away and the numbers left quickly and clearly and relate them to the number bonds they have already learned.

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