How Basic Subtraction Works

Subtraction is like counting backwards or like counting what you have left.

1.  If you had 10 fish stickers:

Add, subtract fish with boat and fish with drum, numbered

Add, subtract fish with mic and fish with book, numbered

 

Add, subtract fish with horn and fish with umbrella, numbered

 

Add, subtract fish with kite, fish with horn, numbered

 

 

Add, subtract fish with guitar, fish with violin, numbered

If you gave 2 of them to your friend:

Add, subtract fish with boat and fish with drum

You would have 8 stickers left:

Add, subtract fish with mic and fish with book numbered 1 2

 

Add, subtract fish with horn, fish with umbrella numbered 3 4

 

Add, subtract fish with kite, horn 2, numbered 5 6

Add, subtract fish with guitar, fish with violin, numbered 7 8

You can figure out how many stickers you have left by counting backwards (first you have 10, then 9, then 8) or by counting the number of stickers you have left.

2.  If you gave your brother 3 fish stickers to do a chore for you:

Add, subtract fish with mic and fish with book

Fish with horn

You would have 5 stickers left:

Add, subtract fishes with umbrella, kite numbered 1 2

Add, subtract fishes with horn 2, guitar, numbered 3 4

Add, subtract fish with violin, numbered 5

The math would be:  8 – 3 = 5

3.  If you gave your sister 3 fish stickers to help you with your homework:

Add, subtract fish with umbrella and fish with kite

Fish with horn 2

You would have 2 stickers left:

Add, subtract fishes with guitar, fish with violin, numbered 1 2

The math would be:  5 – 3 = 2

Here is a page that just shows the 10 fish. You can print them and use them to play with subtraction if you want.

Here is a page that just shows the 10 fish outlines so you can color them in. You can print them and use them to play with subtraction if you want.