Regrouping and Borrowing with Subtraction

Wow!  There are so many wonderful resources that have already been shared on here!  I am so excited to be a part of this fantastic collaboration!

My name is Krista and I host a blog called Teaching MOMster.  I have been a classroom teacher for over 12 years and I am now getting the chance to be a MOM to my 10 and 11 year olds by staying home and helping in the classrooms.  While I love the opportunity to do so, I miss the kiddos in the classroom so blogging has helped me stay in touch with my teaching side of life!

One of the struggles I have seen at home and at school is subtracting, especially with borrowing!  My daughter had the BIGGEST struggle with this concept when she was younger.  She could not understand why you couldn't just subtract the smaller digit from the larger digit, no matter where that number was located.  Obviously, she didn't understand the concept of subtraction. 

When I was teaching 4th grade, I had some kids who had the same struggles, especially when there were zeros on the top.  So, we started digging in to the REASON that we borrow.  We tried different methods of subtracting.  We used place value blocks, story problems, and money to act it out.  Finally, they understood the concept, but sometimes they still "forgot" as they were subtracting larger numbers.  I used this poster to help them remember what to do. 
I heard them use this phrase to help each other during group work.  Once they understood the concept, they then just needed a quick reminder of what to do with the numbers.

In honor of my FIRST post on One, Two, Three: Math Time, I am making this item FREE!  Just visit my TPT store here to download it for free.  While you are there, I would love for you to follow my shop to keep updated on all my new items.  Enjoy!

How do you help your kiddos struggling with subtraction?  I would love to hear more great ideas!



  1. Welcome to the blog! I dreaded when I would get to double digit subtraction with my second graders. I knew it would be a few weeks of confusion with some of them just subtracting the top number from the bottom and some of them still carrying a one from our addition unit.

  2. "More on top, don't stop!! More on the floor, go next door!" :)


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