Subtracting shapes from numbers

Here’s a free downloadable worksheet that you can use in your home or classroom to teach subtraction to your children or students. With this mathematics activity your students will be subtracting different shapes from different numerals to come up with the answers to the math problems.

In this activity, children are asked to write their answers in the form of numbers (printed numerals). However, if you like, they can also write their answers by drawing a number of shapes that equals the answer to the math question – they may not have space to do this on the math worksheet, but if you are using math journals as part of your school or homeschool curriculum these can be used for answering the questions.

Teaching subtraction with shapes

Using this particular subtraction activity can help you to teach subtraction to your class as it reinforces the concept that numbers are made up of units. For each problem students are presented with a numeral that a child then needs to use to subtract a collection of individual units equaling a number as the final answer. Students will need to understand the way the numerals and the number of units correlate in order to solve each problem.

If you are using this worksheet as part of a public or private school curriculum, you might choose to have your children complete the problems individually and then work through them together on the blackboard or on a whiteboard in front of the classroom. Together you can start with the numeral and then “count down the shapes” in unison until arriving upon the answer.