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National Curriculum: Addition and Subtraction - Year 4 - Activities

Created on 14 October 2013 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 09 April 2014 by ncetm_administrator


Programme of Study statements Activity
Add and subtract numbers with up to 4 digits using the formal written methods of columnar addition and subtraction where appropriate      
Estimate and use inverse operations to check answers to a calculation        
Solve addition and subtraction two-step problems in contexts, deciding which operations and methods to use and why      

Pupils should be taught to:

Activity A - Interactive Base Ten Blocks

This software shows a clear, interactive version of the use of base ten blocks for addition of two 3-digit numbers. It clearly demonstrates regrouping, and has a useful focus sheet for pupils to guide their work.

Activity B – Twenty divided into Six

This task from Nrich requires children to arrange a pack of 20 cards numbered 1-20 into 6 unequal piles of the same total. A good activity for consolidating mental addition skills and encouraging children to discuss their approaches and ideas. Could it be extended to larger numbers?

Activity C - Images of addition and subtraction

This activity comes from the NCETM Secondary Magazine, and looks at the range of models and images used for addition and subtraction. Challenge the children to sort the cards and think about all the skills they are using.

Activity D – Models and Images

‘Slidey- box’ cards, number trios and the function blocks Interactive Teaching Programme (ITP) can all be used to support children in understanding the concept of inverse operations for addition and subtraction.

Activity E - Reach 100

This activity from Nrich requires children to use their knowledge of addition and subtraction to add several two digit numbers to reach a target total.

Activity F – Estimating differences

In pairs, children take turns to circle two numbers from a grid such as this:

They agree a time period in which to estimate the difference between the two numbers and check the range in which the estimate falls on the chart below. Play continues until all of the numbers are used, and the player with the most points wins.

  • Solve addition and subtraction two-step problems in contexts, deciding which operations and methods to use and why

Activity G – Bar Models

This resource provides a useful introduction to the bar model approach for calculating, with lots of ideas for problems to use in the classroom. Additional resources can be found at the ‘Thinking Blocks’ website


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20 November 2016 19:27
Can't get passed the adverts in Thinking Blocks which is a shame. I'm pushed for time and haven't got the energy to 'explore' to find what I am looking for ie Thinking Blocks.
By Nutmeg2016
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28 October 2014 20:02
really difficult to navigate this website for the first time. Taken me 30 mins to find what I need
By rabbitlady1
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