Primary 3 Homework – Week from 20th February

Primary 3 Homework – Week from 20th February

Our topic on the North and South Poles is really taking off now as we think about what these amazing places are like and what kinds of animals can survive there.

Please see below my note on written subtraction methods.

Best wishes,

Mr Buchan



Pages from class books to be read at home will be written down in the grids as usual.

I am going to stop writing down when children have been heard reading aloud on these grids because it has proved impossible to keep this up to date. All the children are heard three times a week on average – sometimes twice or sometimes four times depending on what else is happening. From now on I will only write notes on the reading grids if there is something specific to raise. I hope that is OK.



More common words that people have been finding tricky.

taking                          cold

walked                         there

called                           their

Please could we practise them using our usual look, say, cover, write and check method and then write sentences using them?


As you help the children with columns subtraction, please be aware that there are some slightly different ways of doing these written sums and it will be helpful if we can all use the same method. For example, the way I was taught is different from what I would now teach. The reason is that the decomposition method (shown below) reflects most closely the underlying concepts of place value and subtraction. The other ways work fine but they can be a bit confusing for some children.


6 5                 Take 4 away from 5 to get 1 in the units column.

 – 3 4                 Take 3 away from 6 to get 3 in the tens column.


You can’t take 5 from 2, so you decompose the

  56 12                6 tens to become 5 tens and 1 ten moves across.

 – 3   5               You now have 12 minus 5 which gives 7 in the

___­__­              units column. In the tens column you then take 3

away from 5 which gives 2.


Our motto is:

          If it’s too big on the floor… steal one from next door.

This goes with other golden rules:

– Start with the units

– Never take the top number away from the bottom

– When you write a sum, line up the columns correctly


To practise at home:

43 – 22                     87 – 62                     63 – 28                   91 – 72

86 – 39                    364 – 226             506 – 262                544 – 245

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