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Different strategies and methods are used in school to teach addition and subtraction for kids. The post for today is on request of many mothers who had been asking me about the different approach used in school for teaching Maths. This post concentrates only on teaching addition and subtraction to children using different approaches that has been used in school esp. in reception and Year 1. Also, I added my personal touch by creating some worksheets for kids with images which my children personally choose. This is my first step in creating and sharing such activity related worksheets which I wish to carry forward in the coming days as well. The worksheets that I share are free to download for educational purposes. But in case of sharing it in your own blogs or website, I kindly request you to give due credits.

Method 1: Using Pictures, Counters and Blocks

The method of using pictures and practical apparatus to teach addition and subtraction is the most common method used for early learners. The devices can be blocks, dominoes, cubes or any objects that facilitates teaching addition and subtraction for early learners.
addition and subtraction
The subtraction works the similar way except that we take away the numbers instead of adding them together. Pictures like arrow Cards help introduce digits and place values to children which will be explained in Part 2 of Methods of  addition and subtraction for year 1. Templates for this method can be downloaded here.

Method 2: Using number line/ tracks for addition

Number line is an important method of teaching addition and subtraction by jumping one number to another by moving forward or backward depending on addition or subraction. The below image teaches how number line works. 

number line
Number Line Method
If you like to use printable number line for your kids, the below links will help to make number line interesting for  your kids. You can download the template by clicking the below links. 

number line worksheets
Dinosaur Number Line Template
number line worksheets
Download Frozen Elsa Number Line Template- Worksheet (.doc)
number line worksheets
Download Disney Belle Number Line Template
number line worksheets
Download Spider Man Number Line Template - Worksheet (.doc)

Method 3: Using 100 Square Grid

This is an interesting and important square grid which will come throughout the year for kids in their primary school. Adding "one more", "one less", "ten more" and "ten less" are as easy as pie when 100 square is introduced to kids. It also helps kids to look out and understand the pattern of numbers in a new way.

100 square elsa
100 Square

Do you like the 100 square above? Then, have a look at the below 100 square printable templates.

100 square grid
100 square grid
100 square

In the coming days, we will be seeing many more strategies and methods such as complements, partitioning, etc which are being used to teach addition and subtraction for year 1 and reception along with some cool worksheets - Part 2 of Addition and Subtraction Strategies.

Do you think Maths is not for you (or) say you can't handle Maths? Then, just spare a few minutes of your time on this link "What is Vedic Maths?". I can assure that it will trigger you to start loving Maths.


  1. Mathematics is such a fun! I don't remember we had any of the methods while learning addition and subtraction... How boring it was for us! Thank you for sharing this Uma :) TC! keep smiling :)

    1. It's true ...Maths for me is never a boring subject. We can derive an answer with many different ways even with simple addition and subtraction as given above and that's what makes Maths so beautiful. I hope to bring in more informative stuffs to make maths interesting for kids :)


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