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Subtraction Math Facts Worksheets

Is It Better to Learn Subtraction with Number in a Vertical or Horizontal Orientation? Using a vertical subtraction orientation is better than horizontal orientation. Many teachers and parents consider it as the best way because it makes more sense when moving carrying or borrowing numbers and moving double-digit figures. It is also visually more convenient to look at as all the values are lined up properly. For example:
- 1234
However, many schools are using worksheets, where a horizontal approach has taken place into solving subtraction and addition equations. One of the reasons behind this approach is to develop a habit of reaching from left to right, as math was introduced in this fashion in the first place. Kids are also able to understand different math symbols more efficiently. Such as: equals sign, greater than less than and shifting numbers from one side to the other. For example:
+ 6789
These worksheets are perfect drills for learning you math subtraction facts.

Aligned Standard: Grade 1 Operations - 1.OA.6

  • Numbers Line Step-by-Step Lesson- We use a numbers line to display the example.
  • Math Facts Countdowns- Rewrite the problem as a countdown to help you understand the concept a little better.
  • Worksheet 1 - 20 practice problems for you. The order and arrangement of the subtrahends is random here.
  • Worksheet 2 - Even more problems for you here. You may seem to see the same numbers appear more often than not.
  • Mad Minute 1 - Many teachers are reporting to us that they have been trying these sheets out as quizzes.
  • Answer Keys - These are for all the unlocked materials above.

Practice Worksheets

More practice sheets then you could ever need. You should have a really good handle on your math facts after this.

  • Practice 3 - If you have students that finish much faster than others, I would recommend you ask them to circle matching differences.
  • Practice 4 - You can also have students create their own sheets and answer keys to match. This makes it more organic.
  • Practice 5 - There are many different ways to say these math sentences. It could be that you are removing or taking away a value.
  • Practice 6 - It could also be said that you are deducting one number from another.
  • Practice 7 - The manner in which we have the differences setup on the page (vertically) will work well when we transition to larger values. I prefer presenting students with all subtraction problems in this manner.
  • Practice 8 - You could also present them in a horizontal fashion and have them rewrite them in a vertical manner.
  • Practice 9 - I find that a great way to approach these problems is to complete them top to bottom.
  • Practice 10 - I guess it really depends if you are more of a column or row person.
  • Practice 11 - I do see that many students like to complete these problems in order of subtrahends. Starting with zero and then moving along.
  • Practice 12 - Time wise, the strategy that always seems to win is just doing them in numbered order.
  • Practice 13 - I do see some students that focus on the column method to get the best times.

Vertical Mad Minutes

These can also be used as timed quizzes. In that case, I would give them 3 minutes. Just to be sure.

  • Mad Minute 2 - Make sure to time these each time you do them.
  • Mad Minute 3 - Focus on getting each one correct, not just moving on to the next one.
  • Mad Minute 4 - A good habit to get into is to complete the problems in order.
  • Mad Minute 5 - It does not have to be an numbered order. Working in rows works well for many students too.

Teaching Strategies for Helping Students Learn Their Subtraction Math Facts

After two decades of teaching children basic math, I can clearly say that students find subtraction more difficult than addition. I feel it is because addition somewhat piggybacks right on to counting. Subtraction throws them for a loop. They were all about moving forward and now we are telling them that they need to go backwards in their mind. When you think about that, you can quickly see why it may be a daunting switch for them.

I find that there are three simple yet effective things that if all students followed and understood, they would all be Rock Stars with this skill.

Subtracting Zero - Simple if you are asked to subtract a zero nothing changes. I almost like them to get into the habit of cancelling or crossing out zeroes. It also stands to reason that you should teach students that anything that is subtracted by itself is equal to zero.

Counting Backward - If addition is counting forward, subtraction is doing the same thing backward. I find that student teachers often overestimate a class’s ability to count in a reverse fashion. We need to understand that these kids were counting for the first time, just a year ago. Just be patient with them, do not expect them to show up and have this mastered.

Counting Up: Starting with the Subtrahend - Subtraction problems have three parts to them. The value that you start with is called the minuend. The value that is being taken away is called the subtrahend. The value that remains is considered the difference. For all these problems we are attempting to determine the difference. If you begin with the subtrahend and count up until you reach the minuend, that will be equal to the difference. This is a simple trick that many students latch on to quickly.

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