Special offer on subtraction

29th November 2002 at 00:00
To help Year 4 understand subtraction, I put pictures of 10 objects on a board, marked with their prices. These might be trainers, CDs, items of clothing, or anything else that children like buying.

These stay there for a week. At the beginning of each day, every child has to decide what two items they are going to buy. They have a certain amount of spend, say pound;100. Every day the prices change - one day it'll be cheap trainers, and the next, more fashionable, expensive ones. The idea is to get as much as possible for your money and to work out the sums correctly. We give them accounting paper to do their calculations.

When I do this with lower-ability children, I tend to use smaller sums of money and simpler prices - for example, pound;3 rather than pound;3.99. I give prizes for the one with the most money left over and the one who has worked it out best. The children really get into it and there are howls of delight when they realise they've got a bargain. And they've grasped subtraction by the end of it.

Daisy Harman, class teacher, Ravenstone Primary School, London borough of Wandsworth

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now