Teaching Tools / Teaching Tips / Vertical Addition and Subtraction Strategy
Vertical Addition and Subtraction Strategy2019-12-02T16:01:16-04:00

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Vertical Addition and Subtraction Strategy

In second-grade when kids develop fluency in addition and subtraction two-digit and three-digit numbers. There are many strategies students can use:

  • jumping strategy,
  • hundreds chart,
  • split strategy,
  • compensation strategy,
  • block strategy,
  • ten frames strategy,
  • and mental strategy.
vertical addition and subtraction

In this article, we will explain addition and subtraction two- and three-digits numbers using vertical strategy. The vertical strategy is when students place one number above the other according to the value it has. First hundreds, then ten and ones. In this method, students use vertical columns to add or subtract numbers. It may require regrouping (trading) – replacing the quantity of smaller or bigger parts without modifying its value.

Looking for addition and subtraction worksheets to practice? Get as many addition worksheets as you need. Subtraction worksheets are coming soon.

Vertical Addition and Subtraction without Regrouping

Vertical addition without regrouping.
The sum is less than 10, so no regrouping (trading) to the tens is required.

Vertical subtraction without regrouping.
Fewer tens are being taken away, so no regrouping (trading) is required.

vertical addition and subtraction

Vertical Addition and Subtraction with Regrouping

vertical addition and subtraction

Vertical addition with regrouping.
The addition will involve regrouping (trading) when two digits in the column make more than ten. 4 ones + 8 ones = 12 ones We do not place more than 9 in a column. 2 = 1 ten and 2 ones, then 1 ten goes to the tens column and 2 ones stays in its column. 1 ten + 3 tens + 1 ten = 5 tens. All tens in its column now are added together.

Vertical subtraction with regrouping.
Subtraction with regrouping will appear when there are more ones, tens or hundreds in the number being taken away. Students will trade digits from larger column (tens will trade with hundreds, ones will trade with tens). 1 ones – 3 ones = … We can not take away 3 from 1, so we need to regroup the tens column. 11 ones – 3 ones = 8 ones, while 6 tens – 1 tens = 5 tens.


  1. Alesia N January 15, 2020 at 17:54

    Michael, make the bigger number the minuend and the smaller one the subtrahend. Then, proceed as you would to solve for the difference. Finally, just place a “-” sign in front of your answer.

    Strategy and solution:

  2. Michael January 15, 2020 at 17:01

    Comment…what will be the solution of
    this is vertical form

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