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Brierley Forest

Primary and Nursery School



This week we will be practising our take away skills. 

Another word for take away is subtract or minus.

To be able to take away the first thing we need to be able to do is to count backwards.

Can you practise counting backwards from 20 using this song?

Counting Down From Twenty Song

The Counting Down From Twenty Song by Have Fun Teaching is a counting song that teaches kids how to count down from 20 to 1 by ones.

Ok, let's take this one step further, we are going to use the I count, You count game from last week but this time we will be counting backwards.

Adults you say the number's I write here and the children then have to say the same amount of numbers but keeping counting backwards.


10, 9, 8 _ _ _

5, 4 _ _

3 _ 

7, 6, 5 _ _ _

15, 14 _ _

12, 11, 10 _ _ _

20 _



Today we are going to be practising our take away.

So far when we have been doing take away we have been just counting how many we have left to find the answer but today we are going to start taking away be counting back.

(If you struggle with this, you can always use the method of counting how many are left.)


You will need the number line you made last week to help.


When we are taking away that means we have to count back by using our fingers, jumping that many numbers back on a number line or taking away that many objects.


If we were doing 8 - 5 = 3

First you start from finger 8. Then you count back 5 fingers. Now you see where we land: on finger 3.


Look at the video below to see how you could do this with objects.

Remember how we jump on a number line.

Subtract by Counting Back

Similarly to addition we use those words first, then and now to help tell stories to make the subtraction more in context.

So if:

First there are 7 people on the bus

Then 2 people get off

Now we have....


We can find out using pictures or objects and physically taking away.

Like below

Or we could use our number line or fingers.


7 in our heads, use the number line to count back 2.

7.... 6, 5.


Now we have 5. 


Can you work out the answer to my stories?

Can you write the number sentences?


First Miss Hale had 7 sweets, then she ate 3. Now how many does she have left?



First Miss Pownall-Brown had 6 stickers, then she gave 4 to the children. Now how many does she have left?


First we had 10 crayons, then 2 of them get lost. Now how many do we have left?



First we have 14 eggs, then 5 of them hatched. Now how many eggs do we have?




Today we are going to meet Bertie Baker.

He bakes cakes to sell in his shop.

Bertie needs some help because he is having a sale and needs to change the prices.

Do you think we can help him?

If he has a sale do you think that means the prices will be going up or going down?


On the slides below it tells you how much each cake is to begin with.

Click Bertie to find out how many pennies you need to take away.

Can you find the answer and write the number sentence?

Click on answer and it will tell you if you got this right. 


You could do this by counting on your fingers, on your number line or maybe with real 1p coins. 

Remember to put the first number in your head and count back. 



Maybe you could make your own shop today, you could be the shopkeeper.

You will need to decide what to sell it could be:

some toys some food or maybe even you could bake some cakes.

Each item will need a price tag.

(Up to 10p, or up to 20p if you would like to challenge yourself)




Everything in your shop needs to go on sale. Can you take 3p away from everything?


You could use real pennies to help.







Skittle Subtraction


Play a game of skittles – you could use empty plastic bottles or cardboard tubes as the skittles.


How many skittles do you have altogether?

(Up to 10 or if you want to challenge yourself you could go all the way up to 20)

Roll a ball at the skittles.

How many fall over?

How many are left standing? 

Can you put this into a number sentence?


Use your number line or the skittles to help you count back to find the answer.






Find the missing numbers in the subtraction stories

Oh no, parts of my number stories have gone missing.

Can you work out how many we had to take away to get the answer?

What did you have to do?

How many did you have to take away to get to the answer?

Can you put them into number sentences?


First Tom had 4 footballs, then he kicked ___ over the fence. Now he only has 2 left.


First Jess had 7 leaves on her tree, then __ blew off in the wind. Now she only has 3 left.



First Kim knew that she needed 10 pieces for her puzzle, then __ went missing. Now she only has 5 left.