Teaching Subtraction to the Common Core in Kindergarten!

Hello!  Hello!  This past week we started out unit in subtraction.  I’m not sure about your little ones, but ours go straight from addition to subtraction!  Some do well with the swift transition but others are still building a solid foundation in addition, so subtraction is some kind foreign language to them.

I started with small, building blocks this year and that has helped to eliminate the mass confusion!  We have also watched some favorite videos and played some fun hands-on games that have also helped with the transition.

I like to start with simple subtraction stories as a way to introduce subtraction.  We did a lot of role playing out simple subtraction problems by having students come up to the front of the room.  Below is a fun and interactive video for subtraction stories!

I also had my students do a simple subtraction sticker story.  I gave each student 3 colored stickers and then they crossed out a certain number to make a simple subtraction problem.  See below for the freebie template!

Click  {HERE} for the freebie sticker story template!


On day 2 of our subtraction unit we worked on hands-on activities!  This adorable game and matching book comes from
Miss Kindergarten Love’s Spring and Math Literacy CentersPacket

We played, 5 birdies in the tree!  I called out how many birds the students needed to remove each time and then I wrote the problem on the board for them to see.  They did very well with the hands-on and then seeing how that connected to what I wrote on the board.

After we worked with the birdies in the tree, we read and worked through this adorable matching book!

You can check out this packet by clicking below!

We also started to work this week with number bonds and the correlation as to finding the missing number in the number bond!  I created these easy to follow practice sheets and the students have responded very well to them.  This is a guided sheet…where the student simply writes in the missing number in the equation.  I have the sheets differentiated in the packet so they can also fill in the entire equation themselves.

Click below to view the packet on TpT.  It sells for $4.00 and includes 34 pages.

We have also started subtraction word problems!  In my packets students show their answers using a picture, number line, equation, and answer statement!

I just posted to new addition & subtraction packets!  They sell for $2 each.

If you haven’t previously came across this video, it’s great one!  The kids beg for it!

The following video shows how to use objects to subtract!

The following video shows how to use the subtraction sign!

This is one of my kiddos favorite subtraction games!  It’s called Critter Junction!
The following is song, Ten in a Bed.  For this one I have my students put up ten fingers and they take one down each time a little guy falls out of bed!
The last part to our subtraction unit is fluency!  We have started our timed fluency tests and I am “quizzing” the kiddos their subtraction facts in the hallway before they go into the restroom.  It’s super important to remember that as part of the Common Core the students only need to be fluent within 5.  I only “quiz” them over facts to 5…we work on subtraction with 10 but not in a fluency fashion.

Click below to view my fluency tests for both addition & subtraction!

I will also be sending home a set of flash cards home for my kiddos!  I got my flash cards {HERE}.  They sell for $2.

Click below to grab a freebie subtraction with
5 practice sheet!

Have a great start to your work week!


  1. Thank you for an awesome post!! I am using your subtraction stories with my class and they like it! Thanks for sharing ALL that you do to make the kindergarten world a better place. The things you share are in my practice!

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