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Home » Blog » Operations » Subtraction » Using 2nd Grade Math Worksheets to Teach 3-Digit Subtraction With Regrouping

Using 2nd Grade Math Worksheets to Teach 3-Digit Subtraction With Regrouping

1st & 2nd Grade Math Skills, Blog Posts, Math, Operations, Subtraction

Written by: Krys Warstillo

Subtraction with regrouping can be an incredibly tricky skill for 2nd graders to master but we all know it’s definitely an important one. This set of 2nd grade math worksheets that feature 3 digit subtraction with regrouping can help your students make incremental steps towards mastery. Let me show you how!

Step 1 To Building Mastery

Subtracting Hundreds Using Concrete Manipulatives

Mental math worksheets like the one below are a good way to ease students into 3-digit subtraction. Start by having students build minuend and then physically add or remove hundred blocks. Pay special attention to point out that the tens and ones place is staying the same! For students who quickly pick up this skill, swap it over to mental math for an added challenge. 

Ready Set Go Mental Math Worksheet used as a first step in learning subtraction with regrouping by using concrete manipulatives and subtracting by 100.

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You can find the worksheets highlighted (and all resources for 3-digit subtraction) in this post in both digital and printable formats on All Access below!

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Step 2 To Building Mastery

3-Digit Subtraction Without Regrouping Using Pictorial Representations

Once your students can fluently subtract groups of hundreds it’s time to shift to subtracting hundreds and tens without regrouping. Since this is a foundational skill working through the phases of mastery is going to set your students up for success. Using base ten blocks or paper manipulatives to begin is so valuable. 

Once students are feeling comfortable, it’s time for the pictorial phase which is where 2nd grade math worksheets 3 digit subtraction without regrouping worksheets come in! 

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This worksheet helps bridge the gap between concrete base ten blocks they can hold in their hands and the abstract standard algorithm of subtraction with regrouping. For students who need extra practice to cross this bridge try using some of the worksheets below and have students draw out the equations using base ten blocks! You can revisit the Teaching Addition & Subtraction Within 1,000 post for more teaching ideas.

Step 3 To Building Mastery

3-Digit Subtraction Without Regrouping

For students who are ready for the bump in difficulty, there are so many worksheets for this skill that offer a ton of great opportunities for practice. I want to show you a few of my favorite options and briefly talk about why I like using them with my students.

Worksheets like the one below give students a chance to practice and check their own work. My favorite thing about cut & paste worksheets is that they force students to stop and think. If the answer they get doesn’t match a choice they know they need to go back and try again. It helps hold students accountable in a low-stakes way.

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Keep Students Engaged With Riddles

Riddle worksheets are similar in that they hold students accountable for double-checking their answers in a low-pressure manner. If students get an answer that doesn’t make sense, they know they need to go back and double-check their work. Plus, finding out the answer to the riddle gives these a big bump in engagement! 

subtraction shopping 3 digit subtraction without regrouping worksheet in which 2nd grade students solve 16 problems and use the difference to solve a riddle

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Vocabulary Practice, Too!

Another favorite? Apple picking problems! This worksheet sneaks in some extra review! Students continue to build subtraction skills with the added bonuses of reinforcing number sense and touching on valuable subtraction vocabulary. I don’t know about you but all too often, I forget to reference the term “difference” during my daily lessons and it’s so important that our students know those terms that become clues in word problems. 

3 digit subtraction without regrouping worksheet in which students sort the difference of 12 problems into two categories

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Step 4 To Building Mastery

It's Time For Regrouping!

Your students have been doing the hard work and 3-digit subtraction comes easily. Fantastic! Now, it’s time to ease them into regrouping. That’s where things can get a little dicey for many of our learners. The Subtraction With Regrouping Strategies post has easy-to-follow videos that will walk you through 5 different strategies to try with your students.   

Once your students are successfully using one or more of these strategies it’s time for repeated practice. Especially once they’re working on the standard algorithm. Worksheets with long rows of equations offer plenty of opportunities to practice but a lower level of engagement. Take a look at some of these 2nd grade 3 digit subtraction with regrouping math worksheets that give students a chance to practice but keep it fun!

Similar to the worksheets mentioned above, Surfing Subtraction is a cut & paste that provides your students low-pressure feedback.

3 digit subtraction with regrouping worksheet titled surfing subtraction

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Review Previously Learned Skills

Worksheets like Superstar Subtraction give two-pronged practice. Students can work on subtraction with regrouping and review even and odd at the same time!

2nd grade subtraction with regrouping worksheet to practice 3-digit subtraction and evens and odds

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Subtraction Across Zeroes

Finally, you can’t forget to give students lots and lots of opportunities to practice subtraction across zeroes. Some of your students may be cruising along until they hit zeroes. The updated math worksheets bundle has a few options if this a skill your students need a little more practice with. This Zipping Through Zeroes page includes subtracting across two zeroes!

zipping through zeros 2nd grade subtracting 2 digit numbers with regrouping worksheet

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Using 2nd Grade Math Worksheets to Teach 3-Digit Subtraction With Regrouping

For a deeper dive into the worksheet bundle take a look at the No Stress with These 2nd Grade Math Worksheets post. This post goes over the exact skills that are included in the entire Math Worksheet Bundle. If you're looking for an easy and no-prep set of 2nd grade math worksheets to help your students practice their math skills the search is over!

Extra Practice

Once students have thoroughly practiced this skill on their math sheets, put their knowledge to the test with these 3-digit subtraction online games from


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Hey there!  I’m Angie, owner of Lucky Little Learners. Our #1 goal is to support K-2 teachers.  We provide unlimited access to over 20,000 printables that are aligned to your standards.