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Learning objects The difference bar: go figure


This tutorial is suitable for use with a screen reader. It explains how to split up numbers in your head when finding the difference between two numbers such as 26 and 73. Work through sample questions and instructions explaining how to use linear partitioning techniques. Find the difference between pairs of numbers. Split the numbers into parts that are easy to work with, work out each part and then solve the original calculation. This learning object is one in a series of five learning objects.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students investigate the application of strategies to assist in calculating differences mentally.
  • Students investigate the application of the associative principle to solving differences mentally.
Educational value
  • Provides explanations in support of the development of mental strategies to simplify and solve subtraction problems.
  • Includes a tutorial that covers ‘rounding to nearest 10’ and ‘compensation’ strategies.
  • Provides compatibility with a screen reader.
Year level

3; 4; 5; 6

Learning area
  • mathematics
  • Mathematics/Number and algebra
    • Mathematics/Subtraction
    • Mathematics/Whole numbers
    • Mathematics/Counting strategies
    • Mathematics/Number relationships
    • Mathematics/Algorithms
    • Mathematics/Mental arithmetic
    • Mathematics/Number patterns
    • Analysis;
    • Application;
    • Comprehension;
    • Knowledge
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Analysis;
    • Experiment;
    • Modelling
    Learning design
    • Independent learning;
    • Experiential learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Technical implementer
    • Subject matter expert
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 20 Sep 2013
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL:
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    • Visual independence
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.