Things to Remember When Teaching Subtraction by Pre-Primary Teachers

8th November 2018

Once the child starts the new stage of having to ‘borrow’ the teacher must be careful to see that she does not confuse the child in any way. There are two methods of borrowing usually followed by the concept let the school decide which of the two methods is to be followed and then the SAME method must be continued throughout the school. Something as expressed in the knowledge shared among teachers who have seeked the diploma in pre-primary teacher training courses.

Choosing a particular Subtraction Method –

As in all the new work, there must be plenty of practice given in the method used with no complications arising from the logical and meaningful explanation of subtraction – a part of the complex mathematical problem. Often parents also confuse the child by providing suggestions using a different set of method.

Now when you are working with these little ones, you need to remember all these and accordingly make the kid understand to accept and find a possible solution to the subtraction problem. It must be noted that borrowing must start from the tens and then proceed slowly to the hundreds and thousands.

Usual problems –

Diploma in pre-primary teacher training courses often led to some of the problems. Most of the problems may usually refer to some of the key problems, such as,

  1. The first is the failure to remember the subtraction facts, especially with the zero.
  2. The second can be forgetting to make the change in the ‘tens’ after one has borrowed.
  3. The third reason can be faulty setting of examples.
  4. Another fourth possible reason can be of taking the top line figures from the lower line.

Usual causes –

Teachers who seeked technical knowledge gaining it from the diploma in pre-primary teacher training courses found that the child may understand the fact and yet not know it thoroughly.

Some of the key causes are as follows, first is the carelessness, second is the fatigue and lack of concentration arising out from an imperfect knowledge of subtraction facts, and the third can be lack of understanding of the process. At least these are what dictated by the teacher and that inaccurate teaching at an earlier stage could be rectified.

Key Remedies –

While addressing the usual problems and causes, some key remedies are to be followed. These are in relation to the examples, as suggested below,

  1. In the first place, let’s take the child back to the earlier stage where the child is not ready to ‘borrow’ and thus has failed to understand the process involved.
  2. Another examples is the second instance, where the child does not follow what you have called out, a little bit of demonstration to the problem is necessary.

It is in insistence to the fact that the standard methods of working and set phrases to explain each step of the process. It in this respect, the points to remember when teaching subtraction, first, suitably graded scheme of work is necessary. The second option ensure early work should be based on actual subtraction experiences.


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In academic collaboration with:

Pebble Hills University  London School Of Teaching and Training City College Birmingham Cambridge English AAHEA AAHEA TQ