Skill 6C
Problem Solving:  Subtraction: Drawing Pictures
This is a more difficult subtraction skill since it is not a straight forward problem of a number minus a number which then equals an answer. Not to be too confusing, but here we have a number minus an unknown number which then equals the answer that is already given.  The number sentence here is 12 - ? = 5 so you can see how this might be a little more difficult to do.  However, if your student draws a good picture for the problem the answer is much easier to see.  Some textbooks teach this skill early in first grade while others teach it later in the year, so if your student shows difficulty with these types of problems you could postpone teaching it until later in the year.

Listen carefully while I read you the word problem in the box.
Draw a picture to help solve the problem.

There are 12 roses on a bush.
Mary picks some of them.
There are 5 roses left on the bush. How many roses did Mary pick?

Your student should first draw a picture showing 12 roses.  Then cross-out roses until "5 roses are left."  The number of "crossed-out" roses is then the answer to "how many roses Mary picked."  Your student hopefully remembers that the action of taking something away in a subtraction problem is shown by crossing-out objects in a picture..