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Off the Number Line: Spare a Ten

subtraction funny math cartoon


Ha! I get this one! This is a lot less esoteric than some of your other cartoons. I was recently reading an article about how math humor can be useful in the classroom. I could see using this with students when teaching multi-digit subtraction.


When using with students, it might be good to ask them to explain why the 7 is asking the 5 for a “10.” Note that it’s better to position this as regrouping instead of “borrowing”. In other words, we want students to see 5 tens and 7 ones being equivalent to 4 tens and 17 ones. A cartoon like this can definitely be a good conversation starter.


Good tips. Looking forward to more math conversation starters in next week’s Off the Number Line cartoon!

Check out how these 5 educators are using math cartoons in the classroom to engage their students.

Matthew Peterson and James Huang

About the Author

Matthew Peterson, Ph.D., is Co-founder and Chief Research & Development Officer at the MIND Research Institute. James Huang is Senior Visual Designer at MIND Research Institute.


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