Lesson Plan

Discussing Subtraction Strategies

Get your students comfortable with discussing multiple strategies to solve subtraction problems with this lesson on two- and three-digit subtraction. It may be taught independently or as support for the lesson Subtraction with Regrouping.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Subtraction with Regrouping lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Subtraction with Regrouping lesson plan.



Students will be able to use two different strategies to subtract two- and three-digit numbers.


Students will be able to discuss and compare subtraction strategies using peer support and sentence starters.


(3 minutes)
Graphic Organizer Template: Frayer ModelVocabulary Cards: Discussing Subtraction StrategiesGlossary: Discussing Subtraction StrategiesTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Read aloud a subtraction word problem such as the following: "Mabel and her friends made 127 bracelets. They sold 98 of them. How many bracelets do they have left?"
  • Lead students in a think-pair-share and have them talk about the information presented in the problem and strategies they might use to solve it. Give students time to reflect independently on the problem before assigning them a partner and having them talk to their partner about the problem.
  • Invite students to share what they said or what their partner commented on in the lesson. Record their ideas on a piece of chart paper and leave it up for the remainder of the lesson. Validate their responses to the problem as they arise.
  • Tell students that today they will learn two strategies to solve two- or three-digit subtraction problems and compare their strategies with their partners work.

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fourth grade
Subject Math