Kindergarten Subtraction

Yes, you read that right. In kindergarten we teach how to subtract. It’s a hard concept for five year olds to understand. Many students in kindergarten do not have number sense. It’s important that children have number sense before they learn subtraction.

It’s hard to teach the concept of subtraction but it’s possible. It also amazes me how many of my students were able to understand subtraction.  There are many different ways to teach subtraction and make it fun at the same time. One way is to act it out. In my classroom, we act out our word problems for subtraction so that children are able to understand it. We ask many questions like: how many students need to stand or be part of the problem? How many students have to (action)? Now, how many students are left?  These questions help break it down for the students. It helps them understand the subtraction sentence in acting out.

Another way is through anchor charts that are engaging. I found a lot of these ideas on Pinterest. One anchor chart was called Linus the Minus.  I don’t know where I saw it on Pinterest but it was there.  The students were able to understand the symbol Minus through this chart. It helped them a lot. We also had a lot of the different words that represent subtraction and we taught that every 2-3 days.  We wanted the students to hear and understand the different words that represent subtraction.

I also had a subtraction sentence anchor chart and I labeled each part of the subtraction sentence to help my students understand sibtraction. The last chart that I had was what subtraction looks like. There are different ways to show subtraction and it’s important that our students know the different ways because they are able to chose which way they want to represent a subtraction problem.  I also found this anchor chart on Pinterest. Many wonderful ideas are always found on Pinterest.

I hope this helps you with subtraction in kindergarten. Happy creating!!!



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