Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Building Subtraction Fluency

I know that I am not the only one out there teaching two digit subtraction right now. It is one of the most difficult objectives that I teach all year. It shouldn't be difficult because we have all mastered two-digit addition. What makes it so difficult is that they are SOOOOO sssssssssssslllllllllllloooooooooowwwwww with their subtraction facts! Most of my Superstars are  working on addition in XtraMath and I don't want to push them but I am ready for them to hurry up and learn them already! 

Here are a few ideas and resources for building subtraction fluency that I am using in my classroom right now. has this great interactive Math Bingo. You can set it to addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. I use this sometimes as an early finisher activity after morning work and also as a center. I love doing it on my interactive whiteboard but you could also use classroom computers. 
If you haven't tried out you SOO should! It is totally free and takes about 3-5 minutes each day per student. My students use the four computers in my room to do this EVERY day. They have made a lot of progress in addition fluency. My favorite part about this program is that it kicks them off when they are done and a new students name pops up. 

 I started this with my kiddos today. I taped a different subtraction flash card to each of their table spaces. I randomly touched it throughout the day and they had to recite their fact. I was able to differentiate with easier facts for struggling friends and more difficult facts for students who need a challenge. At the end of the day I flipped the card over and we will work on that fact tomorrow. I thought it might be a distraction but it went over really well today. They were excited to have a new fact for tomorrow. 

This is a strategy that they used at the school where I student taught. Each day there is a new fact. They write it on every single paper underneath the date. They also say the fact every time they stand up to leave the classroom. It worked really well in the third grade class that I was working with. I'm going to do this in addition to the fact on their desk for a couple of weeks and see if this helps them master any new facts on Xtra Math.

I would be interested to hear any other strategies that work in your classrooms!


  1. I stumbled upon your precious blog, read this one post, and now I'm hooked!!! I teach 2nd grade math, and I'm always looking for ideas. I use Xtramath with my kiddos too! I love the math fact of the day idea, and the cards on the table. I'm so going to borrow those ideas! :)

    I'm your newest follower, and can't wait to dig around and get some more great ideas! :)

    Live Laugh and Love to Learn

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind words! I have TONS of ideas and I am excited to have this outlet to share them! :)

  2. Just found your blog and your great math ideas. Going to start them on Monday. Never heard of Xtramath so I will
    look into that too. I'm following you!

  3. Wow! I love Xtramath. Thanks for sharing that great and free site. I'm going to send it home in my latest newsletter for parents.

    I'm your newest follower now! Looking forward to your next post.

    First Impressions


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