Year 2 Subtraction Structures: What's the Story?

Year 2 Subtraction Structures: What's the Story?

WOW Lesson

This lesson helps children understand that there are at least 3 different story structures behind the subtraction operation. These structures underpin both word problems and the strategies we use for solving a subtraction calculation. This lesson can be used to introduce a sequence of learning in subtraction or to consolidate prior learning. Children are often introduced to the subtraction symbol as meaning ‘take away’. They read 11 – 9 = 2 as ‘Eleven take away nine equals two.’ One teacher recently said to me, ‘The trouble with take-away is that take-away doesn’t always mean take-away!’ This lesson makes it explicitly clear that there are three different story structures within subtraction: Reduction, Partitioning and Comparison. It also highlights the importance of using the correct technical language for subtraction.

Key Stage 1

Year 2

  • Mathematics
  • Number - addition and subtraction
  • solve problems with addition and subtraction: using concrete objects and pictorial representations, including those involving numbers, quantities and measures
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