Math Help for Addition and Subtraction

Addition and subtraction are two of the most fundamental areas of math. Mastering these skills will set you up for success later on in school. Here are a few tips to make the learning process go smoothly.

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Learning to Add and Subtract

Counting Exercises

One way you can get used to adding and subtracting is by collecting objects from around your house and placing them into groups. Ask your mom or dad if they have a box of paper clips you could borrow. Now, pour the contents of the box onto a table.

Start with groups of two. Make as many groups of two as you can with the paperclips that you have. Begin adding by taking one group of two and putting it together with another one. Use your paper and pencil to add all the groups together.

You can also use physical objects to visualize adding and subtracting math problems. For instance, to solve a problem like 3 + 2, you can create a pile of three items and another pile with two items. Now, count how many items there are total. The answer is 3 + 2 = 5.

Subtracting Objects

Once you've spent some time counting the piles, you can use them to practice basic subtraction. Instead of combining the paper clips, you now need to take some away from the piles that exist. The problem 4 - 2 can be demonstrated by taking a pile of four paper clips and then pushing two out of the way. You had four, and you subtracted two. Now you'll see that there are only two left, so 4 - 2 = 2.

When you have simple subtraction worksheets to do for homework, you can pull out your box of paper clips and use this method to create a visual demonstration of each problem. The larger number in the problem is the number of paper clips you start with, and the smaller number is the amount you have to take away.

Practice with Money

Counting money is something you will need to do throughout your life, both with small coins and then later with larger sums. You can use loose change and a few dollar bills to practice adding and subtracting as well. This is an activity that you can do with a friend or a sibling.

Take a small handful of change and add it up. Make a note on a piece of paper of how much money you have. Now imagine you are buying something for 25 cents, but all you have is a dollar. Hand the dollar to your friend and make change using the coins you've placed aside. Believe it or not, you are practicing both addition and subtraction with this fun activity!

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