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How to Teach 2 Digit Subtraction with Regrouping Strategies

How to Teach 2 Digit Subtraction with Regrouping Strategies

The most difficult concept I taught to my 2nd graders was different 2 digit subtraction with regrouping strategies, HANDS DOWN.

These proven strategies helped make two digit addition with regrouping feel easier. Follow these step by step strategies to get your students subtracting 2 digit numbers with ease!

I always make these anchor charts WITH my students. After we make them and practice each strategies a few times, I let them pick the strategy that works the best for them.

If you need more activities to practice 2 digit subtraction with regrouping, check out this all inclusive unit.

How to Teach 2 Digit Subtraction with Regrouping Strategies | subtract using base ten anchor chart

1. Subtraction Using Base Ten

Students need to understand base ten and place value before trying this strategy.

Your students should know 10 ones make a ten and that 10 tens make a hundred.

This strategy includes 5 simple steps:

  1. Draw a tens and ones chart
  2. Draw the first number
  3. Cross out the ones from the second number
  4. REGROUP *if needed!*
  5. Cross out the tens from the second number
How to Teach 2 Digit Subtraction with Regrouping Strategies | subtract using expanded form anchor chart

2. Subtraction Using Expanded Form

For some students, this strategy makes regrouping a lot easier to understand.

Subtraction using expanded form follows 4 simple steps:

  1. Expand both numbers
  2. Subtract my ONES *Regroup if needed*
  3. Subtract my TENS
  4. Solve the final equation
How to Teach 2 Digit Subtraction with Regrouping Strategies | subtract using a number line

3. Subtraction Using a Number Line

Students will either LOVE or HATE using an open number line.

It depends on their exposure to number lines and skip counting.

This strategy also involves 4 steps:

  1. Draw a number line
  2. Plot the first number
  3. Subtract my tens
  4. Subtract my ones

Using this activity with a hundreds chart is VERY helpful to students, especially when it comes to regrouping.

How to Teach 2 Digit Subtraction with Regrouping Strategies | subtract using the standard algorithm anchor chart

4. Subtraction Using the Standard Algorithm

While this strategy might seem “easy” to adults, students have a hard time really understanding what is happening when using the standard algorithm to subtract.

Typically, I introduce this strategy last.

Subtraction using the standard algorithm involves just 2 steps:

  1. See if I need to regroup
  2. Subtract My ones
  3. Subtract My Tens

The most important thing to practice here is making sure students start with their ONES and not their tens!

BOX IT

This strategy is simply for subtracting from 100.

It is used at the same time as the standard algorithm.

  1. Box the 10
  2. Regroup
  3. Subtract Ones
  4. Subtract Tens

Resources to Practice

Closing Thoughts

Which 2 digit subtraction strategies with regrouping or without regrouping help your students the most?

Need the same concept for addition? Hop over to my 2 Digit Addition Strategies.

Drop them in the comments below!

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