E P Collier

Primary School and Nursery

Nurture. Discover. Achieve.


Learning Intention:

To understand partitioning when subtracting

After watching the video have a go at this activity.

*Choose a number that is less than 10. Place that number of your counting objects on the table (this is your whole)

*Now take away some of these objects and say out loud how many you are taking away (this is one of your parts).

*Now say out loud how many are left (this is your other part)

*Push the parts back together again to make the whole and say it out loud.


It is really important that am adult models this several times first. For example

6 is my whole

Take away 2, leaves behind 4

My parts are 2 and 4.

Put them back together again to make my whole, 6.


Repeat this lots of times with different amounts up to 10. Only extend beyond 10 if your child really understands this concept.


Top Tip for Parents

When children speak out loud (using the correct vocabulary) and physically move objects,  it helps them to consolidate their understanding of the concept and really identify what is happening to the numbers. This is initially much more effective than writing down sums and problems and ensures they really understand what is happening, rather than just learning a process by rote.

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