Fluency with subtraction is one of the foundations of the first grade math curriculum. This guided lesson on subtraction was designed by our team of curriculum experts to reinforce first graders' understanding of subtraction, as well as boost their confidence with this operation. When finished with the lesson, kids can find extra opportunities to practice subtraction with the accompanying subtraction worksheets.
This lesson includes 5 printable learning activities.
What's Missing? Subtraction Song

Simple subtraction problems become more complex with unknowns in different spots in the equation. Help kids understand the concept of dealing with various unknowns in subtraction equations with this catchy subtraction song. From bees in the hive to caterpillars in cocoons, this song's bug theme appeals to all kinds of early learners.

Subtraction Pizza Party

Tie on your apron—it's time to fix some pizzas! In this interactive math game, kids must drag pizza toppings off of the pizza to complete subtraction problems and give each customer exactly what they order. This first grade math game uses digital manipulatives to help kids visualize the answer to problems in a concrete way, instead of relying on mental subtraction strategies.

Subtraction Hopper

Help Cuz-Cuz make a splash in this interactive subtraction game. Kids practice their mental math skills by taking away numbers in this abstract game. Perfect for honing fluent subtraction skills, this game has the educational punch and silly artwork that will please teachers, parents, and kids alike.

Ski Race: Subtraction Within 10

Is your amateur skier ready to shred that mountain? It's not her athletic abilities, but her subtraction skills that will help guide her character down the slopes. For each single-digit subtraction problem correctly solved, her character will grab some air and get one step closer to the bottom. After a few times down the course she'll have memorized basic subtraction facts, and maybe even be first to cross the finish line!

Secret Agent Subtraction

Agent 00K9 needs your help to defeat El Gato! In this exciting number line game, kids must answer subtraction problems to unlock the secret code needed to defeat El Gato, and help Secret Agent Floyd avoid the shrink ray. Listen carefully to each clue before you answer; too many wrong answers, and Agent 00K9 will be shrunk!

Asteroid Subtraction Join astronaut Roly on a mission and practice subtraction, too! Help Roly clear asteroids and count how many he has left to go.
Swamp Subtraction

These alligators are hungry for numbers! In this comparing numbers math game, kids must do mental subtraction to feed the gators the right number, using less than and greater than signs. When the number matches the difference of the subtraction problem, kids must use the equals sign to move on to the next question. 

Magical Subtraction Tutu's magical wand can make things disappear—but can she learn the subtraction skills she needs to bring them back? In this adorable story, kids can follow along as Tutu learns mental subtraction strategies to help her with her magic tricks, with help from her friend Penelope. Perfect for reluctant learners, this math story makes subtraction approachable and fun for every kid.

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