04 Jun

Column Method (Subtraction of Whole Numbers)

Column Method

Have you ever needed to learn how to use the Column Method when attempting subtraction?

Let Key Stage 2 Maths help you with our online video tutorial explaining how the Column Method works and how you can use it to solve subtraction problems.

Solve common subtraction problems with the Column Method Today!

Using the Column Method

Our “Column Method” video explains exactly how to apply the Column Method when attempting to subtract whole numbers.

Our 2 minute video will cover all that you need to know about the Column Method which can be used when solving subtraction problems from a Key Stage 2 Maths perspective.

Column Method Explained

Subtracting whole numbers using the column method can be tricky as there is a rule that must be applied.

The rule is this:

Rule: Borrow a £1 and split it into 90p and 10p.

Lets see this in action so that it makes some sense.

Lets pretend that you have just bought a DVD for £12.39 and you paid for it using a £20 note.

The subtraction in this example would be £20.00 – £12.39.

Now, in maths you cannot subtract 9 from zero (which is our first subtraction to calculate). So, to ensure that we do the subtraction properly we need to ‘borrow’ from the next column along. But, as you’ll see, there is a zero in the next column too!

To calculate this subtraction using the column method we must ‘borrow’ a £1 from the £20 note which we used as payment. This leaves us with £19 90p and 10p (just as the column method rule above explains).

Now it is possible to calculate the subtraction.

Fourth Column: 10 – 9 = 1

Third Column: 9 – 3 = 6

Second Column: 9 – 2 = 7

First Column: 1 – 1 = 0

Answer: £7.61

So, there you have it. An easy peasy way to subtract whole numbers using the column method. Click to watch our Column Method (Subtraction of Whole Numbers) Key Stage 2 Maths tutorial video on YouTube.

About the author

Tina Mavadia Primary school teacher who has worked throughout London and Hertfordshire. Add Tina Mavadia to Google Plus or check out my Key Stage 2 Maths channel on YouTube.