Subtracting is the opposite of adding. Every day we add things and take things away. The clip uses the analogy of a girl going up and down in a lift and looking at how many floors she has travelled.

First broadcast:
11 September 2007

Use as a lesson starter or plenary. Ask a pupil to think of a number between 1 and 10. Then ask them to take away or count back 2. Then ask them to add 2 and they are back at the number they started. The whole class could try this together before allowing the children to work in pairs carrying out the same task. This could be made more challenging by using bigger numbers or support could be offered with a number line to physically show the jumps forward and backwards. Draw a large chalk number line on the playground. Give the children a number, they must add on that number then take it away, where do they end up? Do the same thing but starting on a different number on the number line.