# Year 1 subtraction -Find a ?difference? by counting up

Discussion in 'Primary' started by erialcrobo, Mar 7, 2011.

1. ### erialcroboNew commenter

Hi there, just wondering if anyone has any successful ways of teaching this? Also, would love to know the kind of activities the children did?

Many thanks

2. ### Andrew JeffreyNew commenter

Hi Erialcrobo. One thing I have tried that seems to work well is the use of Cuisenaire rods. They lend themselves naturally to comparism, which in turn really helps with the 'difference' concept.

By putting them inside a number track or along a ruler (as they are in helpful 1cm lengths) children will get help visualising the idea that subtraction can be thought of as 'apartness'.

Hope that helps. I'm sure that others will have more exciting suggestions!

3. ### bex2606

There is a nice interactive game on ictgames.co.uk
Think it's called catterpult count on.

I have also used crusinaire rods or towers ou unifix and circling the 2 numbers on a number line and counting the jumps between them. Not very exciting but seems to have worked.

4. ### teejay100000

Begin by using comparisons between two towers of cubes, e.g. 5 an 8. Note the difference as being the number of cubes needed to be added to make the towers equal or subtracted to make the towers equal. When this concept is grasped very well move on to work on a numberline / hundred square. Forget, at this point, about equating this with subtraction as this will open up many avenues of confusion - you have taught subtraction as taking away from a set, then counting back on a numberline / 100square; wouldn't you be confused by someone now telling you you can subtract by counting up?

5. ### erialcroboNew commenter

Thanks guys. That is of great help! Any one else?

6. ### henzel

That's great advice and I only wish I'd read this a few days ago.
My class can do subtraction using numberlines but with me linking subtraction and difference it's completely thrown them!

7. ### teejay100000

Yes, it's a poorly thought out part of the strategy. Very confusing and unhelpful for many children.