How to Subtract to 10

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Mathematics, Operations (+, -, x, /, etc.)

Grade 1- 3


In this unit the children will learn to subtract to 10 through the use of manipulatives.


Subtracting to 10 (page 26): Model for the children how to put counters representing the largest number in the circle and take away the number representing the minuend (the number being subtracted). Ask the children to count the remaining counters (those still in the circle) with you. Write the answer on the line.
Subtracting to 10 with Craft Sticks (page 27): Use the same procedure outlined above but with craft sticks.
Using the Subtraction Fact Family (page 28): Review the fact family with the children. Practice several examples together before beginning the practice page.
Extension Idea
Cut eleven 3 in. x 5 in. (8 cm x 13 cm) cards in half. Make two sets of cards numbered 0-10. Shuffle the cards together and place them in one stack facedown. Take the top two cards and use them to make a subtraction problem. Remind the children that when subtracting, always start with the larger number first.


  • counters (bottle caps, pennies, paper clips, crayons, beans, etc.)
  • craft sticks
  • paper cups
  • circle (the lid to a butter tub or a jar or a circle drawn on a piece of paper)
  • copies of the activity sheets (see the link below)

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