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Let's say you have a problem like 13-9 =4, you can tell students to start at 9 and count up to 13 using their fingers....10, 11, 12, 13, so it takes 4 counts ("4 fingers") to get to 13. Hope that makes sense!
I think it would be most helpful to see how students are solving subtraction problems and then build on what they know. Here is one way we did it: https://mathmindsblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/1st-grade-1st-day-of-subtraction/.
I think after you have that gathered, number talks are a great way to focus in on particular strategies!
Hope that helps!
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