Primary maths: Addition and subtraction

Sian Evans
13th September 2017
Child counting on their fingers with addition and subtraction sums in the background

Conquer your pupils' anxiety about addition and struggles with subtraction using these tried-and-tested classroom resources

Whether your students are using their fingers, counters or mental arithmetic to add and subtract, taking the time to cement their understanding is essential at this time of year. To help your class grasp the basis, we've done the hard work for you and found some of the very best addition and subtraction activities, lessons and games that the Tes community have to offer. So, what are you waiting for? 

Classroom activities

If you are looking for innovative ways for your students to practice addition and subtraction, then these engaging trails and mazes are perfect for covering lots of questions without using a traditional worksheet. For stretching pupils, try using challenge cards to deepen their understanding, while supportive workbooks can be used to provide guidance for any learner who is having difficulty.


Addition and Subtraction Maze Activity Collection

Three engaging worksheet activity focused on addition and subtraction. Pupils must answer the questions on each sheet and follow the answers to find the correct route through the maze!

Ideally suitable for primary or low ability KS3 pupils. Answers are included!
By prof689

Addition and subtraction challenge cards

A set of differentiated addition and subtraction challenge cards for pupils to work through. I have labelled them as silver and gold as I give out the silver set and once they are confident give out the progression which is the gold set! Easily adaptable for any year group and/or ability of pupils. I hope you like them!
By pickup01

Year 4 Addition and Subtraction Trails

Inspired by the Year 5 Mastery documents, these maths trails practice basic addition and subtraction skills. Calculations are presented within parenthesis to begin to expose students to algebraic layouts in Year 5.

Four differentiated trails:
High ability (numbers to 10,000),
Medium ability (numbers into 1000`s),
Lower ability (numbers in the 100`s)
SEN (numbers up to 100)
By susiesee

Addition Workbook

11 targeted activities to reinforce addition.
Independent/paired work.

Activities are based around the following areas:

Adding multiples of 100 to a 3 and 4 digit number
Adding 3 and 4 digit numbers together
Additions to 100
Adding pairs of decimal numbers
Finding perimeters using decimal addition
Pairs of decimal numbers with a specific total
Decimals with a total of 10
Repeated addition of decimal numbers
Addition of pairs of 4 digit numbers
Estimating 2 place decimal additions
By smithy123

Lesson ideas

Take advantage of these informative presentations, from simple explanations to animated exemplar to introduce the key concepts of addition and subtraction. From there, why not try adding a real-life context to your activities to keep your students engaged?


Addition and Subtraction

A huge collection of animated PPTs, games, activities and worksheets to support adding and subtracting 2-digit numbers.
By jodyo

Addition and Subtraction Dice Games KS1 Powerpoint

A powerpoint to help pupils to master simple additon and subtraction. Good idea to use large dice at the same time to help the kinesthetic learners. Have fun.

By lbrowne

Addition and Subtraction are Opposites! - PowerPoint presentation and worksheet

In this year 1 teaching resource pupils are introduced to the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction, and practise adding and subtracting within 20 as per the year 1 maths programme of study (Number - addition and subtraction).

This colourful 32 slide PowerPoint presentation includes an interactive quiz. accompanying worksheet and link to an addition and subtraction video clip.
By Martin Grundy

Addition Investigation

Children have to plan a holiday for their teacher using their addition skills. I used this after the children had practised using column addition with four digit numbers. Used in core Y5 set.
By georginamindham

Games and displays

Inject an element of fun into your lessons today with these games, including simple games for pairs to play and a whole-class treasure hunt. And, when learners move onto mental maths, ensure that they are able to articulate how they found the rights answers to their peers.


Number bonds to 10 (addition) game

A4 size board game for 2 players to reinforce number bonds to 10 (addition)

By welly elly

Year 5 Subtraction Game

My first shared resource! This is a subtraction game I made for my Y5 mixed ability class. Pupils roll a dice to generate a number sentence, then race to draw a number line on their WBs and solve it - the winner writes the answer on the sheet in their colour. I gave merits to the winners in each pair. Do let me know what you think! :) BA - some 2 and 3 digits A - 3 digits AA - 3 and 4 digits Let me know what you think! Let me know what you think!
By Astya

Addition and Subtraction Treasure Hunt Collection

Three treasure hunt activities on addition, subtraction and a mix of the two that engage pupils and add variety to lessons.

Pupils can complete the task individually or in pairs. The cards should be cut out and stuck around the wall of the classroom. Pupils go and stand near one of the cards (in a pair or individually) - possibly whiteboards should be given to them for working out - and they start with that card. When they answer the question on the card they go and find the card that has that answer on, making a note of the order of the cards (the card numbers are at the bottom of the cards).

When they get round to the card they started at, pupils are done and come to you to check their work. The correct order is included in the documents so you can see quickly where any mistakes have been made.

Blank answer sheets are also included for pupils to write down the card numbers.
By prof689

Mental Addition and Subtraction Strategies Display

Ready to go classroom display aimed at helping pupils to articulate what they have 'done in their heads' when adding and subtracting mentally and encouraging them to try different strategies and being able to choose the most appropriate for the calculation they are presented with.

Suitable for use in both KS1 and KS2. This resource can also be bought as part of a package of mental addition and subtraction activities.
By b0603832

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