Simple Subtraction Worksheets

Beginner Subtraction

Beginning Subtraction (Boxes and Numbers)
A neat way to start off with differences. A great idea is to use the cross out method with the boxes and slow transition yourself to using the whole number.

Count Downs
This is a neat skill students actually work on pre-algebra skills, without knowing it. Subtract mostly by single digits to create the values in the box. Fill in any missing differences or values of operators.

Cross Out Subtraction
Visual math to help students move to using integers. This should be one of the first worksheets students use when learning about subtraction. It makes it a breeze to move up in skill level.

Differences in Dots
The dots make it easy to follow for students. Have students begin learning subtraction by visually comparing sets of objects; in this case dots.

Find the Missing Number (Subtraction)
The number is buried away in there somewhere, find out where. An algebra starter. Solve for x in these random horizontal subtraction problems.

Missing Digit Subtraction (1-digit)
Input the integer that has vanished into thin air. Fill each square with the number that is missing. This is a good way to introduce the concept of solving for a missing variable or "x".

Simple Guided Subtraction Word Problems
A great way to introduce word problems with differences. The setup of these sheets makes it easy for students to transition into this newer skill for them.

Single Digit (3 Versions)
Your basic skill pack for repeated practice. Kind of like a mad minute of subtraction, but this one should take them under thrity seconds once they master the skill.

Tally Mark Subtraction
We often forget how handy tally marks are. Tallies are a great visual to help students transition to double digit subtraction. Try it some time.

Visual Take Away Subtraction
This take away outline really helps them transition. A great way to prepare students for differences in operations. Use the images that we give you.

Double Digit Subtraction

2-Digit Place Value Based Subtraction (Regrouping)
Somewhat of a column, but the next logical progression for you. We clearly separate the place values to help students understand the basic concept of role of place value in differences.

Double Digit Subtraction (3 Versions)
Your basic run of the mill practice problem set. This is great for a hyper quick review. You can also use it as repeated practice.

Grid Based 2 Digit without Borrowing
The grid makes it easy to line up the columns. This sheet has a graph paper-like background to help students line up the numbers better.

Grid Based 2 Digit (Includes Regrouping)
We move into borrowing with this one. This is a key skill that often stumps students. The grid should help students align their answers better.

Grid Based 3 Digit without Borrowing
We play with larger numbers now. No need to regroup any numbers on this one, just subtract straight down.

Horizontal Subtraction (Double Digit, No Regrouping)
We post it in a different format. Students should be ready for this one. This is an easier way to introduce counting in row format. This is because you can do all the math in your head.

Missing Digit Subtraction (2-digits)
We remove one digit from somewhere random in the problem. Students will soon start to realize the relationship between differences and sums.

Triple Digit Subtraction

3-Digit Place Value Based Subtraction (Regrouping)
We work with a place value matrix of sorts. All the values are separated to help students transfer their skills to larger place values and bigger numbers.

Grid Based Across Zero 3-Digit
We throw one too many zeros in every problem that follows. It is amazing how zeroes in subtraction problems stop students in their tracks. Just remind them to treat zeroes as if they were tens and they'll be fine.

Grid Based 3 Digit (with Regrouping)
The graph paper to the rescue again. This could take a little extra time as the numbers increase in size. Make sure to use the lines to your advantage.

Horizontal Subtraction (Up to 999)
Just a different orientation for you to work with. We vary the orientation of the problems. This appears often on national exams.

Missing Digit Subtraction (3-digits)
A pre-algebra skill. The difficulty of the problems step up a bit. The next step is to remove two numbers from each set.

Triple Digit Subtraction (3 Versions)
A pack of practice sheets for you. Three completely different versions for you to practice with. The font is larger than normal too.


Additional Subtraction Skills

Decimal Subtraction (One Decimal Place)
As soon as you throw the decimal point in their, they get confused. It's a good idea to review regrouping before advancing to decimals for the first time. It makes it a lot easier to understand.

Decimal Subtraction (Two Decimal Places)
We move up to the hundredths place. The added decimal place really complicates the visual for students. Help them break it into columns.

Decimal Subtraction (Three Decimal Places)
All differences include a thousandths place here. This is where we start to lose some students. Our best advice is to break everything into columns. It becomes much easier when you follow that pattern.

Grid Based Across Zero 4-Digit
We use very large numbers in our grid pattern. We work with much larger number numbers now. This is very helpful for review.

Moderate Subtraction Word Problems
These involve up to triple digit numbers. All the problems are candy related. Some of the stories of stretches to get the candy in there.

Subtracting Dollar Values
We give various amounts of money to find the differences of. Some money math for you. Your typical checking account operations. I always hate subtracting money, I feel like I'm paying rent or really unnecessary bills.

Subtraction Word Problems (Hard)
Geared for your middle schoolers. These problems might be too difficult for elementary level students they are paced for grade seven students.


Hidden Subtraction Puzzles

Apple with a Worm
Find the differences to properly color the apple and the worm. This is a fun picture. With some deep coloring, this turns out really well.

Balloons Subtraction Puzzle
Everything below this line is a puzzle like this with different problems and pictures. Solve all the subtraction problems and then draw the pretty pictures along with it.

Garden Scene Puzzle - Like flowers? You will really enjoy putting this one together then. Make sure to carry when needed.

Giraffe Puzzle - Kids really like this one. It makes for a fun picture of our long necked friend munching on some lunch.

Flower Subtraction Puzzle - A quick flower scene that many will enjoy. Make sure to borrow along the way.

Mushroom Puzzle - It must be the spacing on this one, but students take a long time to complete this one. It must be the 49 problems.

Pinwheel Puzzle - When the writers first created this one, I was reminded of the last time I saw an actual pinwheel. It had to be over 20 years ago. Where did they go?

Subtraction Puzzle - This is a fun picture. With some deep coloring, this turns out really well.This is great if you have a few minutes left in class.

Snail Puzzle - An all smiles little snail. I mean if you are genetically slow fore ever at least you can smile about it. Good attitude Mr. Snail.

Snake Puzzle

Umbrella Puzzle - Getting ready for the coming storm? Our little umbrella is. Have fun with it! This came out a little darker than we intended it to be.


Preschool and Kindergarten Level

Cross Out Subtraction

Picture Subtraction


Grade One Level

All of the sheets below focus on Core aligned skills for Grade One.

Subtracting 0s, 1s and 2s | Answer Key

Subtracting 3s, 4s, 5s | Answer Key

Subtracting 6s, 7s, 8s, and 9s | Answer Key

Matching Subtraction Problems | Answers

Write the Difference

Addition and Subtraction Word Problems


Grade 2

These are all Core curriculum aligned as well.

Bubble Pop Subtraction

Magic Squares Subtraction | Answer Key

Missing Subtract Parts | Answer Key

Subtraction Function Tables | Key

Subtraction Slides | Answer Key

Subtraction Word Problems

Successive Subtraction Circles | Key

Tic Tac Toe Subtraction Worksheets


Complete Addition and Subtraction Sets

  1. Add & Subtract Review Worksheet 1
  2. Add & Subtract Review Worksheet 2
  3. Add & Subtract Review Worksheet 3
  4. Add & Subtract Review Worksheet 4
  5. Add & Subtract Review Worksheet 5
  6. Add & Subtract Review Worksheet 6
  7. Add & Subtract Review Answer Key
  8. Math Cross Number Add and Subtract Puzzle 1
  9. Math Cross Number Add and Subtract Puzzle 2
  10. Do Now Math Worksheets- Grade 1
  11. Do Now Math Worksheets- Grade 2
  12. Math Word Problems
  13. Teacher Curriculum For Math

7 Ways to Teach Subtraction to Students

It is difficult for children to learn the concepts of subtraction. Addition is easy, but teaching subtraction to them can take up a lot of time and patience. It is necessary for teachers to understand that teaching subtraction to students will require several approaches that are different from teaching other operations of math.

Subtraction can be explained to students by using a variety of different techniques, from simple math problems to using everyday objects. Here are 7 simple ways how you can teach subtraction easily.

1. Introduction to Subtraction

The first and foremost step is to explain the concept of subtraction to students in the easiest way possible. Explain to them that subtraction is basically taking away one thing from another, or the difference between values of two numbers.

The concept of subtraction can be quite tricky to teach. Try a few different techniques and see what works well according to the grade of students.

Explain simple subtraction problems on board or take help of drawings and images to teach them the basic concepts. It will take some time to grasp this new idea, but there are a lot of other tricks and techniques to teach your students how to subtract easily in the following points.

2. Hands-on Practices

Kids have a way of holding and touching objects to understand how certain things work. A tangible experience is effective to teach them the basic concepts of subtraction.

Place a certain amount of cookies or candies in front of them and ask them to remove them from the table and then see how many are left behind. Or tell them that a cherry represents the number 10, and the seed in it is the number 5. If you remove the seed then what is the difference between their numbers?

Physically removing things from their sight will allow them to make a connection between what they are seeing to the theoretical concepts in their brains. Let the children practice on their own by using chocolates and other things they are attracted to. This is a great way to motivate them to learn more quickly.

3. Other Strategies

Some special techniques make the goal of teaching students about subtraction easier to achieve.

For example, using proper vocabulary while teaching them will avoid any confusion in their minds about the terms used while subtracting values.

Using words like "minus, leave, how much fewer is this than that, take away, etc.," at the correct time will make the child understand what these terms mean and how to use them properly.

4. Everyday Life Examples

Children are good at observing their surroundings and are really vigilant and active when it comes to playtime. Include everyday examples of subtraction when they are playing with pebbles or just observing sparrows from their window.

Ask them things like, "One of the two sparrows just flew away, how many are left behind?" or "If we throw five pebbles in the pond, how many pebbles are we left with?"

Exciting and interactive activities make children more eager to learn, especially when faced with a challenge they are determined to pass. Engage them in your daily tasks and ask them to help you, e.g. sharpening pencils and counting them to divide among other students.

In this way, students feel like they are in charge of a situation and they will be more motivated to learn new things.

5. Practice and More Practice

Start off with easier practice problems and word problems so that the concepts can be built from the basics.

Worksheets are a great solution to ensure that the children are practicing more and more subtraction problems. Allow them enough space to sketch all the rough calculations on paper before they finally solve the problem.

Worksheets can be made fun and engaging by adding pictures and illustrations to them or allowing the children to draw their own shapes. Throw in some crayons and colors to make it more exciting for them.

6. Subtraction Games and Activities

What better way to grab a child’s attention than engaging them in a game. Classroom activities like setting up a little shop and distributing fake money among students to buy stuff are a great way to make sure the mathematical concepts are stuck in their minds.

Other games and activities that you can engage them in are online games, educational videos, rhymes, and riddles, or using toys like Legos or little construction blocks to demonstrate building and taking away things to disassemble an object.

You can also divide the students into groups and hand out subtraction problems to them and ask them to solve them before the other team does. Nothing brings more energy to a child than a competition that they want to win.

7. Tell Them Stories

Tell children stories like "Rachel was taking 10 pies to her neighbor’s birthday party. However, on her way, a fox stole two pies from her. Can you guess how many pies were left behind when she arrived at her neighbor’s house?"

This way they would try to guess what is going to happen in the story and will be driven to solve these little math problems quickly and efficiently.

Here is another example of a story that you can use the next time you are trying to test the student’s concepts.

"Once upon a time there were 45 packs of wolves living together in a forest. Suddenly, a blizzard came through that made it difficult for them to protect their homes and little pups. 30 packs decided that they would leave the forest and move to a warmer area because the cold was killing their babies. However, the rest of the packs refused to leave the place they now called home. The two groups of wolf packs separated. Tell me how many wolf packs were left behind in the cold forest?"

There you are! 7 exciting and different techniques to make a concept as difficult as subtraction, really easy for children to understand. Teaching new operations in mathematics to students can really test your patience and take up a lot of time, but with the right approach, it will become very easy to tackle even the most difficult math problems.