## Subtraction

### Using Graphic Organizers for Subtraction

When students learn about subtraction, they learn about “taking away”. The first subtraction practice they do is often with groups of concrete objects and questions taken from life. “If there are 5 cookies on the plate and the dog steals 3 of them, how many are left for Jimmy?” Students can act out these real-life problems with math manipulatives. At first, students are likely to count to get to the answer. As students become more used to subtraction, they will begin to write the equations that represent concrete problems (5 – 3 = 2). Soon they will begin to recognize combinations of numbers whose difference is between 2 and 10, but it will take practice. Graphic organizers are a great way to help students see all of the number combinations whose difference is the same number. Students will make new connections simply by filling in the equations and looking at the completed organizer. It’s good practice and a great tool for learning.