Beginning ➖ Subtraction (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)

This DIY lesson on Beginning Subtraction uses materials you probably have at your home. The lesson should be presented to a child who already understands the concept of numbers at least till ten and the concept of addition.

First, you need to make "Number-Jars" - see how below:


For your "Number-Jars" you can use spice jars, jam jars or any other shallow dish for each number (lids are not necessary). So, for example, the "Number -4-Jar" must have the proper number of the following materials since the purpose of every Montessori lesson is to have a control of error:

  • equations (see picture above) - so the "Number -4" Jar will have four equations (unless you would like to add an equation "minus zero"); you can use colored cardstock (buy here) and yourself write down the equations and then cut them out;  we are using wooden Montessori equations (similar here); alternately you can use these wooden numbers to "make" an equation;
  • separate answers for each equation;
  • the same amount of marbles as that Number-Jar, so in "Number -4" Jar, you will have four marbles;
  • a tray (buy here).


For numbers 1-jar and 2-jar, I am using shallow dishes since number "1-jar" will have just one equation with one answer and one marble, and number "2-jar" will have two equations, two answers, and two marbles.

DSC_0095Adrian (3.5 years old) is working with the "Number-5-Jar."

DSC_0095The equations should be positioned on one side of the work and the answers on the other side. 

🔢Math Simple ➕Addition and ➖Subtractions with LEGO

Recently, 👦🏼Adrian really got into LEGO building: he builds every day, and he would build the entire day (if I let him😉). So, we are LEGO ❤️️fanatics here! This Snow ❄️ Resort Kit (buy here) is actually the 1st LEGO Friends set 👦🏼Adrian built completely independently (without 👧🏻Julia's help and he loved the process!) Aside from allowing a child express creativity and ingenuity, there are so many things you can do with LEGO! 


Once Adrian was finished, to add a twist to a traditional LEGO building, I wrote down some equations and asked Adrian to reproduce them with LEGO pieces.


The  "worksheet" (download here) had several basic addition and subtraction equations on it. Adrian would have to build the equation on the board and solve it. 
DSC_0005-2For symbols, I used flat "bumpless" LEGO pieces and simply drew the sign on them with a Sharpie (permanent marker).
DSC_0005-2To provide a control of error, I made sure that each equation sing had the same color, adding a sensorial aspect to this activity. Also, Adrian can sensorily feel little bumps on the pieces while counting to self-correct, triggering tactile learning!

For our Math work: see here a 🎥 video- post "Beginning ➖ Subtraction (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥Lesson)." For Addition Math work, see here "Montessori Math Simple ➕ Addition using Marble-Counters" and here a 🎥 video-post "➕Addition Strip Board (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)." Also see here an extension to Montessori Strip Board: "➕Addition Strip Board Making 🔟’s (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)."

For Holiday posts, here  "🦃Thanksgiving 🌽Inspired DIY Simple ➖ Subtraction Math Lesson."

For more on LEGO, see:

  • here "Learning Fractions with LEGO"
  • here "Julia's Christmas Gift: LEGO Creator Expert Santa's Workshop"
  • here "LEGO Juniors Demolition Site Building Kit"
  • here "Dropper Writing Letter M with LEGO (Language 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum)"
  • here "LEGO - the Best Investment in a Toy"
  • here "Julia's 7th Birthday Gifts: LEGO Friends"

 Do your children like LEGO? Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!