Hey, y'all! Today, we're talking about teaching subtraction in first grade. This is probably THE HARDEST skill for firsties to master in math. Then usually get the basic premiss down of taking away, but this is where all the simple mistakes seem to take place. 


Research has shown over and over that kids learn and retain skills much more quickly when they play games related to the skill. That's why this unit is packed full of games for students to play independently or with a group.


Now, it wouldn't make sense to start a unit without some kind of direct teach, either whole group or small group. So on Monday, we come together as a class (or you could do this in small groups if you wanted) and we talk about strategies for subtracting. How is it similar to addition? What's the difference? What do we already know about take away?  You get the point. Then, we practice. We demonstrate with taking away shoes, having kids stand at the front and model leaving (taking away), drawing it out, etc. At the end, we do a simple practice page and discuss our strategies used.



Tuesday through Thursday, students visit a series of stations to practice this skill. While students are in stations, I check in with each group to see how they're doing, check progress of work, clear up any misunderstandings, and answer any questions. Students are encouraged to check with their partners if they're not sure as well.



At the end of math time, we come together as a class and talk about what we noticed, what questions or struggles or celebrations we had, and anything else that needs to be shared for the good of the group. This is prime time for me to reteach anything that needs to be addressed as well.



On Friday, we come together as a class for a whole group activity or lesson. In this case, it's Bingo a scoot game. Week 1, we play subtraction Bingo (always a favorite!), and week 2, we play Scoot. These are quick and easy ways to assess who's mastered the skill and who still needs more practice.


This 2-week unit can be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers store here, and is part of the larger, year-long 1st grade math bundle here. This is a growing bundle, so keep an eye out for more resources being added to it soon.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you got some new ideas for your math block. Have a wonderful week and stay sweet!