We started learning subtraction (with renaming) yesterday. I revised the concept and we did lots of examples on the IWB however when the children went to work independently many struggled to answer the questions.


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Usually I find in Maths there are 3 -4 groups

  • Children who quickly grasp new concept and can work independently
  • Children who need a few examples and then can work independently
  • Children who need a lot of practice before working independently
  • Children who need a scaffolded approach and then practice before working independently


Unfortunately its not possible to split yourself into 3/4 pieces so here are some tips

  • Introduce new concept
  • Use mini – whiteboards for children to practice the new concept (The mini whiteboards are super as children are not restricted with ruling copies and one number per box etc. If they make a mistake they can rub it out quickly and continue on.)
  • When children are secure allow them to go and work independently on activities (photocopies/books and copies etc.)
  • Continue to work with children who still need support – when other children are secure allow them to go and work independently too. (This should all happen quickly and you’ll be left to work with the children who are struggling/ need additional support)

Early finishers

Always have a next step ready (Maths is one of those subjects where there can be a huge gap between children – some fly through the questions and others struggle to complete 3/4.)

Display questions on the board using Math Aids Website or Math Worksheet Site (These come with an answer key so children can self-correct when completed)

Use a dice – while doing addition and subtraction – children use dice and roll 2/3/4 digit numbers and then add them together or subtract them. (They really love this)