25 Ways to Teach Students to Solve Math Problems with Subtraction

Are you looking for ways to teach students to solve math problems with subtraction? If so, keep reading.

1. Make sure the learner has mastery of math ideas at each level before introducing a new skill level.

2. Make the learner use graph paper to line up the numbers correctly in columns.

3. Teach the learner the ideas of more than, less than, equal, and zero. The use of concrete objects should enable the learning process.

4. Teach the learner why they are learning a math concept. Give the learner concrete examples and chances for them to apply those ideas in real-life situations.

5. Teach the learner the concept of ” away” (e.g., “You have three toys, and I take away two of them. How many do you have left?”).

6. Teach the learner number ideas and the relationship of number symbols to numbers of objects before requiring them to solve math problems involving subtraction.

7. Give subtraction practice using an apps program or a hand-held educational device that gives instant feedback to the learner.

8. Give the learner a quiet space to work (e.g., “office,” study table, etc.). This should be used as a way to lessen distractions, not as a punishment.

9. Give the learner enjoyable math learning activities during free time in the classroom (e.g., computer games, math games, manipulatives, etc.).

10. Do not require the learner to learn more information than they are capable of learning at any time.

11. Minimize the emphasis on competition. Competitive learning activities may cause the learner to hurry and solve subtraction problems incorrectly.

12. Give the learner chances for tutoring by peers and teachers. Let the learner tutor others when they have learned a concept.

13. Utilize daily drill learning activities to help the learner memorize subtraction facts (e.g., written problems, flash cards, etc.).

14. Give the learner self-checking learning resources. Require the learner to make corrections before submitting work.

15. Give the learner shorter math facts but give more of them throughout the day (e.g., four tasks of five problems each rather than one task of twenty problems).

16. Give the learner increased chance for help or assistance on academic tasks (e.g., peer tutoring, instructions for tasks sent home, frequent interactions, etc.).

17. Praise the learner for trying and finishing work. Place emphasis on the number of problems correctly solved. Urge the learner to see how many more they can successfully solve without help. Get the learner to keep a “private” chart of their math performance.

18. Praise the learner for correctly solving subtraction problems: (a) give the learner a concrete reward (e.g., class privileges, line leading, passing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

19. Make the learner check subtraction problems using addition (i.e., the difference plus the subtrahend equals the minuend). Praise the learner for each error they correct.

20. Teach the learner to use resources in their surroundings to help them solve math problems (e.g., counting figures, counting numbers of objects, using a calculator, etc.).

21. Complete the first problem or two of the math facts with the learner to make sure that they know the instructions and the operation appropriate to solve the problems.

22. Give the learner many concrete experiences to help them learn and remember subtraction facts. Utilize popsicle sticks, paper clips, fingers, etc., to form groupings to teach subtraction facts.

23. Consider using Alexa for the Math Classroom.

24. Try gamifying your math lessons.

25. Consider using one of the apps and tools from our many math app lists:

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