Subtraction with Regrouping: Math Games for Learning Subtraction

Regrouping, sometimes called borrowing or carrying, may be necessary when subtracting numbers with two digits. Because this concept can be tricky for kids, try out the games below to provide your son or daughter with additional practice at home.

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How to Have Fun While Practicing Subtraction with Regrouping

Although students begin learning to subtract in first grade, it isn't until second or third grade that they subtract larger numbers by regrouping. Interactive games can be a fun way for children to practice this skill at home. Because regrouping can be a tough skill to master, kids will benefit from repeating the process through games. In addition, games can provide an opportunity for kids to learn through physical movement, rather than listening and completing drills.

To illustrate, let's use the problem 62 - 45 = 17. To begin this problem, look at the ones column (2 - 5). To solve this, we must first borrow from the tens column, crossing out 6 and replacing it with 5. Then, we can subtract in the ones column like this: 12 - 5 = 7. Moving back to the tens column, we must subtract 5 - 4 = 1. As a result, we find that 62 - 45 = 17.

Two Regrouping Games

Candy Counters

You can use pieces of candy as counters to visually depict subtraction with regrouping. As an example, consider the problem 21 - 14 = 7. Begin by separating the tens and ones columns. For 21, you would have 20 counters in the tens column and one counter in the ones column. Similarly, for 14, there would be ten counters in the tens column and four counters in the ones column.

To solve this problem, ten counters must be borrowed because we cannot subtract 1 - 4. Your child can physically regroup the counters by taking ten counters from the tens column in 21 and placing them in the ones column. As a result, we can now subtract 11 - 4, which equals 7.

Roll of the Dice

Add some fun to subtraction review by having your child randomly generate the problems using dice. Because regrouping is usually used when subtracting 2-digit numbers, make sure you have two dice available. Each roll of the dice determines the numbers that are going to be subtracted. For example, if your child rolls a two and a three, she can decide whether the number should be 23 or 32. Then, she rolls again to come up with the second number. You may want to take turns with your child to make the game more fun and to give her a break between subtraction problems.

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