Students transitioning from the basic vertical algorithm to the vertical subtraction algorithm have a difficult time with recognizing and carrying out the initial regrouping or renaming of the ones place when the minuend is smaller than the subtrahend. A classic misconception is that the students is able to subtract going from the subtrahend to the minuend or up the problem, and the answer is written below the equal line as in the addition problem as before, and the need to regroup is not recognized. The answers are wrong and recognizing the need for regrouping is never learned. The Ladder is a technique that explains the jobs of the two numbers, enforces directionality and strengthens and reinforces the difference between addition and subtraction. It makes it easier for the students to carry out the subtraction problems simply by counting, if memorization is an issue, and teaches subtraction from its roots up through more complicated problems with simple and comfortable dialogue with the character Claude. Practice problems and sample exercises are included for the student to participate in the learning. It's fun!