Using Place Value Mats for Addition & Subtraction

Not all kids learn at the same level or the same way. Addition and subtraction are just one case for this. There are some kids that struggle with the idea of learning place value with the addition and subtraction.

Today I have some fun mats and these show you how to work addition and subtraction while using place value. With fun ways to work on why we carry and borrow from other numbers.

Free Place Value Mats for Addition & Subtraction - 3 mats for addition and subtraction with different levels of place value. - 3Dinosaurs.com

There are three mats for addition and subtraction. The mats each have columns and the place value is shown above. They come in one & tens; one, tens & hundreds; one, tens, hundreds & thousands.

Free Place Value Mats for Addition & Subtraction - 3 mats for addition and subtraction with different levels of place value. - 3Dinosaurs.com

I like to laminate these or put them in sheet protectors. I often store them in sheet protectors in a help binder. I put the addition and subtraction mat back to back in the sheet protectors.

Free Place Value Mats for Addition & Subtraction - 3 mats for addition and subtraction with different levels of place value. - 3Dinosaurs.com

How We Use these Addition and Subtraction Mats

Before I start on addition or subtraction I always reminded my girls that you can’t have more than 9 numbers in a place value line. I would pull out the place value mats and show them the 9 spots. I would then say if we have more than 9, they all become a one and move up to the next place value.

Free Place Value Mats for Addition & Subtraction - 3 mats for addition and subtraction with different levels of place value. - 3Dinosaurs.com

You can always start off simple with just tens and ones. I have some addition flash cards that have all the ways to add from 11 to 20. These have some great cards to show carrying over and not carrying over.

I have them put the flashcard on the mat and get unifix cubes to match it. And then put them put the cubes in the column they belong in.

Free Place Value Mats for Addition & Subtraction - 3 mats for addition and subtraction with different levels of place value. - 3Dinosaurs.com

Then we add them together and carry the numbers over to make our number. I have them leave the extra cubes above to have them see the number just moved to the next column. We used a dry erase marker to write the answer on the sheet.

Free Place Value Mats for Addition & Subtraction - 3 mats for addition and subtraction with different levels of place value. - 3Dinosaurs.com

These mats also work great for subtraction with showing how you borrow from the next number. It is a great way to show why you can borrow and how that borrowing works. You know that you always take ten cubes from the other column. I have the extra cubes around for them to use.

We wrote a math problem that was in a homework assignment and got the cubes to match the number on top.

Free Place Value Mats for Addition & Subtraction - 3 mats for addition and subtraction with different levels of place value. - 3Dinosaurs.com

We worked on borrowing from each column until we could do the problem. We took from the hundreds to have something for the tens and did the same for borrowing for the ones. The cubes count in the column where: 4 in the hundreds, 9 in the tens and a 10 in the ones. Then we solved the problem.

Free Place Value Mats for Addition & Subtraction - 3 mats for addition and subtraction with different levels of place value. - 3Dinosaurs.com

You don’t have the use cubes for this. You can use any hands-on item or use dry erase markers to make the counters and move them around. These mats are great for the child that is struggling with carrying over or borrowing. It shows them how we can borrow and carry in a fun way.

Things we used with these printables


What you will find in these printables

  • Addition and subtraction mats with a place value chart
  • 3 Charts: one & tens; one, tens & hundreds; one, tens, hundreds & thousands

Free Place Value Mats for Addition & Subtraction - 3 mats for addition and subtraction with different levels of place value. - 3Dinosaurs.com


Check out these other Addition and Subtraction printables:

Cassie – 3Dinosaurs.com

About Cassie

Cassie is a mom of three stomping, romping, and roaring girls. She blogs about fun art and craft activities and printables she makes. She includes the odd review of products every now and then. She also blogs about the places that she has taken the girls called trip reviews. She has a few free printable pack for kids ages 2 to 8 and always adding more. She loves to get comments and feedback and always looking for new things to try or do with her girls.
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