# Subtraction Part 1: Representations

April 21, 2020

In a recent blog post I talked about the importance of starting from where things make sense. This may be one of the best ways to help your kids with math at home. If you don’t know what to do, take a step back. Then take another. Keep going back until things make sense. Then follow the bread crumbs back up till you’ve figured out the new thing.

That’s all good in theory. But what’s missing is the details. (And there are a lot of details in math!) So I’m going to try to touch on some of the foundational visuals and representations that ground the meaning of mathematical symbols and operations at an elementary level.

When it comes to arithmetic, there are always two parts: understanding the operation, and understanding how it works in base 10. Today, I want to do just part 1 of that, as it pertains to subtraction. I’ll follow up with the base 10 connection soon.

As always, I hope this helps!

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Kathryn Sandler
3 years ago

This is so incredibly helpful! I like how you present things as a progression and with different representations to help solidify understanding. Please make more videos!!!

Mary Anne Reynolds
3 years ago

Thank you for focusing on using the unifix cubes instead of base ten blocks as a starting point . It really solidifies the learners building numbers with 10 in mind.
Can’t wait for more of your videos!

Laura Lopez LeRoy
3 years ago

The videos are very targeted and succinct—great for parents and teachers. Yes, please continue making these types of videos. Thank you.
Wondering if a way to have in Spanish and close caption?

Maria
3 years ago

Brilliant! Simple to complex and appreciate how you have created illustrations that even younger students can follow! Thank you.