Elementary Math Tutorials: Free Help with Elementary Math

A solid foundation in elementary math skills is critical for future success, so it's a great idea to use free tutorials to build your understanding. Keep reading for help with basic math skills, like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

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Tutorials in Elementary Math


Adding means counting up the total number of objects that are in 2 or more groups. For example, you might have a group of 4 apples and another group of 3 pears. You can find the total number of pieces of fruit that you have by counting up all of the pieces: 4 + 3 = 7.

You can also use a number line to help you understand addition. The first number in your addition problem (4) is your starting point on the number line, and the next number (3) tells you how far to go to the right. Since 7 is 3 spaces to the right of 4, this means 4 + 3 = 7. Likewise, if you started at 3 and moved over 4 spaces, you'd still wind up at 7, so 3 + 4 also equals 7.


Subtraction is the reverse of addition. When you add, you're combining 2 or more groups, and with subtraction, you're taking one group away from another group. For instance, let's say you have a class of 12 students, 4 of which are boys. To find out how many girls are in the class, you'd subtract the number of boys (4) from the total number of students (12).

You can use the number line to perform subtraction, just like you did for addition. You'll start with the larger number, 12, and then count 4 spaces to the left, since you're subtracting. You'll land at 8, which means that 12 - 4 = 8.


After you've mastered addition and subtraction, you'll study multiplication and division. Multiplication is a way of adding together groups of items when each group is the same size.

For example, if you have 3 groups of 7 pens, there are two ways you could find out the total number of pens you have. One way would be to add together 7 + 7 + 7 to get 21. The more common - and faster - way to represent this problem is to use multiplication: 3 x 7 = 21. You can think of multiplication as a faster, fancier way of representing an addition problem.


Just like subtraction is the opposite of addition, division is the opposite of multiplication. When you divide, you start with a group of items and divide it into smaller groups of a certain size. For example, if you have 15 cookies and you want to divide them between 3 of your friends, each friend would get 5 cookies, so 15 ÷ 3 = 5.

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