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Subtraction Foundations introduces your child to subtraction concepts in a hands on method helping to insure that your child understands these concepts.
You may feel that your child is ready for this activity prior to completing the first nine weeks of activities. Skipping weeks is highly discouraged, even for children who already know how to count backwards.

Week 10-12: Subtraction Foundations


Instruct child that they are going to use numbers to play a new kind of game called subtracting. Explain that this fun game will use the numbers they have been practicing in previous games.

Students will be shown two big yellow boxes, and one small yellow box. Inside of the first large box will be displayed a random number of shapes between 1 – 10. Students are asked to listen as the computer counts the shapes in the first. The computer will then move a random number of shapes from the first box to the second box, counting as it does so. Students are then asked to enter the number of shapes remaining in the first box into the third box.

If a correct answer is supplied by the child, then a green light flashes, and the computer counts all the remaining shapes.

Transferring Concepts:
Parents and teachers should point out to students that the number below the box correspond to the number of shapes in the box. It is critical that students complete all three weeks of this activity so that the concepts have time to sink in. Gradually students will begin to associate the subtraction concepts with the numbers.

Additional Information:
Why are shapes different each time? It is important that children understand that the math is independent of the shape. They need to understand that it is possible to add apples and oranges. Adults should help children realize that shapes are different.

Use Math Vocabulary:
Parents and teachers should not be afraid to use math vocabulary with the student. Words such as “minus”, “subtract”, and “equals”, will help prepare the child for success with math.

Encourage students to say the following or a similar sentence out loud with each new math problem. “seven minus two equals five “. Replace the numbers in this sentence with the actual numbers for each problem.

Suggested Follow-Up:
Students should not be allowed to forget the concepts learned. Children should be encouraged to continually practice by using the math flash cards provided on this website.