A boy had seven pencils. But he gave three to his sister. How many pencils does he have now?
We know the boy had seven pencils to begin with. And we’re also told that he gave three to his sister. And we’re asked to work out how many pencils he has now. Which operation do we need to use to help us solve the problem? Do we need to add, subtract, multiply, or divide?
We could use a model to help us think about the problem. We know there are seven pencils. And we know the boy gives three to his sister. So he will have four pencils left. It’s a subtraction. Seven subtract three equals four. If a boy has seven pencils and he gives three to his sister, he will have four pencils left. Seven take away three equals four.
To help us answer this question, first we selected the numbers from the question, seven and three. Then, we used the model to help us decide which operation to use. Then, we subtracted three from seven to give us our answer of four.