The arrow method simplifies addition and subtraction equations by breaking down numbers into manageable parts using number bonds or the break apart method. It provides a systematic approach to perform arithmetic operations, particularly when dealing with multi-digit numbers or complex calculations.

The arrow method involves drawing arrows to represent the addition or subtraction process, with each arrow indicating a step in the computation. By breaking down the numbers into smaller components, the arrow method helps in organizing and visualizing the steps involved in the calculation.

To use the arrow method for an addition equation:

- Write down the first number in the equation.
- Break apart the second number into parts so that the first part of the number can be easily added to the first number. Place an arrow between the first number and the sum of the first number with the first part of the second number.
- Continue breaking apart the remaining value of the second number until the remaining amount can be easily added to the sum previously calculated

For example, let's consider the addition equation 38 + 23:

- Start at 38.
- Break apart 23 into 10 and 13, because 10 can be easily added to 38, and add 10 to 38, which results in 48.
- Break apart 12 into 10 and 3, and add 10 to 48, which results in 58.
- The remaining amount of the second number is 3, which can be easily added to 58, so add 3 to 58, which results in 61, which is the final sum.

Subtraction equations follow a similar process to addition equations, but the steps are reversed.