Adam Carlson
April 03, 2013 AT 09:38 PM EDT

Subtraction — don’t say it too loudly — means to take away objects from a group and count how many are left. NBA hall-of-famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar demonstrates this on Sesame Street with the help of five birds and a lot of squawking. There’s just one problem: Big Bird has a hard time figuring out the secret to Jabbar’s lesson. Don’t say subtraction!

Take a look at the clip below.

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