Math Background

Inverse Relationship Between Addition and Subtraction: Tips and Tricks

  • Make a set of flash cards for each child to use for practice. You might ask a parent or aide to help you. Then when you introduce a fact, give each child a flashcard of that fact.
  • When working with children, watch for those children who may add all of the exercises even though the exercises they are working on have mixed signs.
  • As you work with exercises that have mixed signs, have children point to the sign before they solve the fact and tell whether they should add or subtract.
  • Remind children that if they have trouble remembering one fact, try to think of another fact in the family that they know.
  • Once children have a good understanding of fact families, spend some time each day presenting exercises with missing addends.
  • Spend time each day giving children problem-solving situations where they have to choose the operation. Stress the fact that addition involves combining, while subtraction involves separating or comparing.
  • Suggest that when children practice their facts, they work with the facts in families.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 1