Short Blocks

Maths Year 1/2 Spring Addition & Subtraction (A)

Each unit has everything you need to teach a set of related skills and concepts.

Unit 1 Mental addition and subtraction (suggested as 5 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1
Write the number sentence 3 + ☐ = 8. Children discuss. Hold up a strip of 8 cubes and beneath it a strip of 3 cubes. How many more cubes to make 8? Fill in the number sentence 3 + 5 = 8. Repeat for other bonds to 8.
Further Teaching with Y2
Use the bead frame to show linked additions and subtractions, e.g. 5 + 2, 15 + 2, 5 -2, 15 – 2.
Group Activities: T with Y2
Y1 -- Game to find the matching number to make 8. Order number bonds to 8; find matching number bonds partners.
Y2 -- Solve additions using number facts, focusing on place value of 10s digit. Solve additions and subtractions using number facts given on cards.

Day 2
Write 35 + 3, 27 – 5, 30 + 5, 46 + 6, 27 – 7, 56 + 3, and 99 – 3 on cards. Y1 What is 5 + 3? Y2 Can you see an addition where you could use this fact? Stick this card under a heading Number fact. Y2s How would you work out 27 – 5? 30 + 5? Stick the card under a heading Place value.
Further Teaching with Y1
Write 9 + 0, 3 + 6, 7 + 2, 4 + 5, 8 + 1. Show that we can write addition either way round. 3 + 6 = 9 and 6 + 3 = 9. Use these bonds to write subtraction facts, e.g. 9 – 4 = 5.
Group Activities: T with Y1 or Y2
Y1 -- Make number bonds to 9 with cubes in a feely bag.
Play a game creating number bond sentences with a partner.
Y2 -- Sort calculations according to the strategy used to solve them. Investigate equality using an on-screen interactivity.

Day 3
Children write the number facts to 8 on their whiteboards. Use pegs and a coat hanger to help children write related subtraction facts.
Further Teaching with Y2
Show a bead bar and demonstrate adding 8 and 5 by doing 8 + 2 + 3 (‘bridging’). Show on beaded and landmarked lines.
Group Activities: T with Y2
Y1 -- Make snakes of 8 and 9 cubes in 2 colours and record as a subtraction.
Y2 -- Develop understanding of bridging 10 when adding a 1-digit number to a 2-digit number using beaded lines or landmarked lines.

Day 4
Use dotty dice (i.e. with dots not numerals), asking children to add 3 numbers, 2 of which total 10. Discourage counting on in 1s. Encourage looking for known pairs that make 10, then add the remaining number.
Further Teaching with Y2
Use 1-100 grid and the beaded line to subtract 1-digit numbers from 2-digit numbers, bridging through multiples of 10.
Group Activities: T with Y2
Y1 -- Play a game of skittles, adding 3 numbers to find the total.
Y2 -- Children sort and solve subtractions by bridging 10, using 1-100 number grids, beaded or landmarked lines.

Day 5
Shuffle 2 packs of 0–9 digit cards, and take these 3 cards: 4, 3 and 4. Choose a strategy to add these (double 4 first, then count on 3). Repeat for other sets of 3 cards, then 5 cards encouraging different strategies such as starting with the largest number.
Group Activities: T with Y1
Use the ‘Cross sums’ in-depth problem-solving investigation below as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
Y1 -- Choose an efficient order to add three 1-digit numbers.
Y2 -- Choose an efficient order to add at least three 1-digit numbers

You Will Need

  • Multilink cubes
  • ‘How many more to make 8’ cube bar model (see resources)
  • Sticky notes
  • 20 bead frame (2 rows of 10)
  • Number cards
  • Number fact cards (see resources)
  • 1 to 100 number grid (see resources)
  • Place value cards
  • Feely bag, Counters
  • ‘Sorting calculations’ sheets (see resources)
  • Number shapes, e.g. Numicon
  • 5 pegs in one colour and 5 in another, coat hanger, cloth
  • Large 0 to 100 beaded line
  • 0 to 100 landmarked line (see resources)
  • ‘Target the 10s’ calculation cards (see resources)
  • 0 to 100 beaded lines (see resources)
  • Target the 10s recording sheet (see resources)
  • Landmarked lines (see resources)
  • 100-bead bar
  • Pre-prepared skittles, ball
  • 0 to 20 and 0 to 30 beaded lines (see resources)
  • ‘Make your own subtractions’ sheet (see resources)
  • 1 to 100 grid with multiples of 10 in red (see resources)
  • 1-6 dotty dice, 1-10 or 0-9 dice

Short Mental Workouts

Day 1
Pairs to 6

Day 2
Pairs to 7

Day 3
Pairs to 10

Day 4
Pairs to 10

Day 5


Day 1
Y1: Draw missing cubes to complete number bonds to 8.
Y2: Children show how to solve addition and subtraction problems using number facts.

Day 2
Y1: Calculate how many more candles each cake would need to have 9 candles in total.
Y2: Solve addition and subtraction calculations to play a game of 4-in-a-row.

Day 3
Y1: Relate adding and subtracting: use addition facts to create subtraction number sentences.
Y2: Train Journey: adding single digit numbers to keep a running total of the number of passengers on a train.

Day 4
Y1: Add 3 numbers, spotting pairs to 10, using beaded lines for support.
Add 3 numbers, reordering to add efficiently.
Y2: Match subtraction calculations to correct answers by counting back or using number facts.

Day 5
Y1: Add numbers on 3 dice, to add efficiently.
Y2: Look for known number facts to help efficiently add a series of single-digit numbers.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving


  • Point at the first number and count on.
    5 + ☐ = 9, 6 + ☐ = 8
    ☐ + 6 = 9, 3 + ☐ = 8
    ☐ + 2 = 9, 1 + ☐ = 8
  • 9 frogs in the pond. 3 hop out. How many now?
  • 8 beetles on a leaf. 5 fly away. How many now?
  • Choose 3 numbers:
    [7] [3] [5] [4] [7] [6]
    • Choose an efficient strategy to add them. Write the answer.
    • Tell me why you added them in that order.
    • Choose three more and do it again…


  • Fact families. Write 4 number sentences that link each ‘trio’ of numbers:
    3, 8, 5
    27, 2, 25
  • Fill in the missing numbers:
    62 + ☐ = 69, 48 = 43 + ☐
    37 + ☐ = 41, ☐ – 5 = 74
  • Solve each addition using a different method. Say how you did each one.
    30 + 9 = 17 + 5 = ☐
    4 + 7 + 6 = ☐
  • Solve each subtraction using a different method. Say how you did each one.
    25 – 5 = ☐
    14 – 6 = ☐
    58 – 4 = ☐

In-depth investigation: Cross sums

Y1: Children arrange numbers 1 to 5 on a cross and show that the row and column have the same total.

Y2: Children find totals of 5 numbers less than 10 to give different totals.

Extra Support

Deadly Dinosaurs
Finding pairs which make 6

Shape Sums
Finding pairs which make 10

Sums say the answers!

Using place value to add, e.g. 20 + 4 = 24

What's the gap?
Saying the next 10s number; Finding how many to the next 10s number, e.g. 36 + ? = 40

Spot the 10
Adding three 1-digit numbers, spotting a pair with a total of 10

Unit 2 Adding and subtracting money (suggested as 5 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1
Give each pair of children a pot of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10 and 20p coins, several of the smaller denominations. Show different food items with labels 11p, 12p, 15p and 20p; children show you coins to pay for each item.
Further Teaching with Y2
Use online game of ‘Toy Shop Money Game’. Children choose coins to pay for different objects.
Group Activities: T with Y2
Use the ‘Mr Know It All!’ in-depth problem-solving investigation below as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
Y1 -- Guess the coins in each pocket, using the clues. Buy food, choosing coins to pay for it.
Y2 -- Play an online shopping game or use coins to make given amounts, offering alternative combinations.

Day 2
Set up a role-play shop. Children buy 2 items. Y2s add 10ps, Y1s add 1ps, Y2s say combined total.
Further Teaching with Y1
Have a selection of toys with prices 1p to 11p. Choose 2 items. Show children an enlarged 0 to 20p money line and use this to model counting on from larger price.
Group Activities: T with Y1
Y1 -- Buy 2 or 3 items, using number facts or counting on to find totals.
Y2 -- Shop for 2 items with 2-digit prices, adding to find the total.

Day 3
Show children items with price labels 67p, 42p, and 56p. Say that all these prices are going to go up by 10p! Use spider to add 10p, then 20p.
Further Teaching with Y2
Use Spider to subtract 2-digit numbers.
Group Activities: T with Y2
Y1 -- Find prices for the car wash, adding 10p, 20p or 30p to amounts. Some children will add 10p coins to a total in a tin.
Y2 -- Solve a subtraction problem by counting back. Subtract 2-digit numbers from 58.

Day 4
Find change from 10p (Y1) and then 50p (Y2), showing the calculations on money lines.
Group Activities: T with Y1
Y1 -- Role-play shops; calculate how much change to give.
Y2 -- Find change from 50p when buying items that cost forty-something pence.

Day 5
Compare two prices using stacks of pennies. Model finding the difference on a 0 to 20p line. Matthew had £17 and spent £15 on an art set. How much money has he left? Mark 17 on a 0 to 20 beaded line. Matthew spent £15, so cross out 0 to 15. Agree that he has £2 left.
Group Activities: T with Y1 or Y2
Y1 -- Find amounts that have a difference of 2p, 4p and 5p. Find the difference in cost between 2 items.
Y2 -- Find the difference between two 2-digit numbers by counting up. Decide whether to count up or back to find change in pounds.

You Will Need

  • Food items; labels with money amounts
  • Coins and pots
  • 'Sweets priced from 1p to 10p' (see resources)
  • '0 to 20p money line' (see resources)
  • Cubes; Counters; Sticky notes
  • Large 1 to 100 number grid
  • Plastic spider
  • Toy cars and sticky labels
  • ‘Tuff spots’/trays with shallow water, bubble bath and toothbrushes
  • '1 to 100 grids' (see resources)
  • 'Number cards' (see resources)
  • '0 to 50p money line' (see resources)
  • ‘Finding change from 50p’ sheet (see resources)
  • ‘Finding change from 10p’ sheet (see resources)
  • '0 to 20 beaded line' (see resources)
  • '0 to 50 beaded lines' (see resources)

Short Mental Workouts

Day 1
Coin recognition

Day 2
Make amounts up to 10p

Day 3
Count on and back in 10s

Day 4
Pairs to 10p

Day 5
10 more/10 less


Day 1
Y1: Choose which coins to use to buy food items: 1-digit amounts.
Choose which coins to use to buy food items: 1-and 2-digit amounts.
Y2: Suggest ways to make given amounts (<£1), using at least 3 coins.
Suggest ways to make given amounts (< and >£1), using at least 3 coins.

Day 2
Y1: Choose 2 or 3 toys to buy. Use number facts to help find the total.
Y2: Muffin shop: combine the costs of muffins and icing to find the total cost of a cake.

Day 3
Y1: Add 10p or 20p to other multiples of 10p.
Y2: Use Spider to subtract 23 and 34 from 2-digit numbers on a 1-100 grid.

Day 4
Y1: Count up to find change from 10p.
Count up to find change from 5p, 10p or 20p.
Y2: Calculate and write subtraction sentences for change from 10p, 20p or 50p.

Day 5
Y1: Count up to calculate the difference in price between two items (1-digit amounts).
Count up to calculate the difference in price between two items (1- and 2-digit amounts).
Y2: Calculate how much pocket money is left by finding the difference.
Decide whether to count up or back to find the difference between 1- and 2-digit amounts.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving


  • Find 2 different ways of making each amount.
    12p, 25p, 17p
    Draw the coins you use.
  • Write the missing numbers:
    8p + 12p = ☐
    6p + ☐ = 13p
    ☐ = 13p +3p + 6p
  • Add amounts to write the missing totals in the table:

+ 10p 20p




  • Write the change from 10p when buying…
    (i) 6p biscuit
    (ii) 4p cracker
    (iii) 9p drink
  • True or false?
    You always get change if you pay for something with a 10p coin.
    You can buy two 4p sweets and still have change from 10p
    You may not use a 20p coin to buy something that costs 11p.
  • What does a pen cost if I get 5p change when paying for it using a 10p coin?


  • Amit makes £1.15 in three different ways using different coins. He never uses any ‘copper’ coins.
  • Suggest these three ways. One way uses 5 coins. Can you find it?
  • Choose two of these cards.
    [34p] [53p] [44p] [25p]
    Find and write their total.
    How many different totals can you make?
  • Complete each sentence by writing the missing numbers.
    47p + ☐ = 50p
    ☐ + 39p = 50p
    50p = ☐ + 45p
  • Write the missing number in each bar diagram:

Diagram 1


Diagram 2


Diagram 3

  • Caitlyn has spent £15. She has £6 left. How much did she have to start with?

In-depth investigation: Mr Know It All!

Children find out which amounts of money from 10p to 20p (Y2 also find amounts from 20p to 50p) can be made using 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p coins, using no more than one of each.

Extra Support

Tap Twice

Adding 2p by counting on

Dino Stickers
Finding change from 10p

Coin Counting On

Finding the total of pairs of coins (up to 20p)

Dinosaur Day
Finding change from 20p