Understanding Subtraction with Regrouping

Understanding Subtraction by RegroupingIn the “olden days” when students learned how to subtract double digit and larger numbers, they learned to compute the solution with “borrowing” from the number to the left.  However, in today’s math they call this “subtraction by regrouping.”  This means that parents who are helping their child learn how to subtract will have to learn the new vocabulary and process the concept of regrouping in order to be consistent with the teaching approach that their children are learning at school.

This video on math playground provides a very detailed explanation of subtraction with regrouping.  This video is great for parents and kids alike.  The basic concept of regrouping is that you are taking a 10 and re-write it as 1s.  For younger children just learning this concept it is easier to explain by using manipulatives.  You can either purchase a set of base ten blocks, make your own by combining or cutting pipe cleaners into 100s, 10s, and 1s, use virtual manipulatives, or even use a printable set.  This will help your child to visualize as they are breaking down the numbers through regrouping and then subtracting to solve the problem.

To help your child practice subtraction with regrouping, there are engaging online games that they can play.  Sheppard Software has a set of subtraction games where they can practice a wide variety of regrouping skills with subtraction.  They are broken down by difficulty level and the skills students need to practice.  Cool Math 4 Kids also has a variety of leveled games to play with subtraction.  They also review place value and real-life examples of using subtraction.

What types of activities do you do at home to help your child with practicing their subtraction with regrouping skills?

Photo by mia3mom

Check Smart Tutor Elementary Math Curriculum and Free Math Games

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