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I created this simple subtraction game so that we would have a good way to use our subtraction flash cards.
Because I don’t know about you, but flashing one card after another isn’t my idea of a good time.
Not that it can’t be useful – kids do need to learn those facts automatically – but I think that games are essential as well.
I was inspired by this game from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational. I simply created and printed a set of flash cards and created a board game with the numbers 0-9.
We took turns drawing a card and moving to the next square which had its answer.
Since my Five often comes home from school complaining that kindergarten math is boring, I decided to play the game with him first.
I haven’t done any subtraction work with him yet, but he was able to use his fingers to solve some of the problems.
When he get stuck, I showed him how to start with the number on a hundred chart (see upper right of the above image) and count backward.
This game definitely gave him the challenge he was looking for!
I would have liked to spend more time talking about the strategy of figuring out the answers, but a certain just-turned-Two was sobbing at my elbow. (The hundred board and its number tiles is one of his favorite toys, and he wasn’t happy that we were using it!)
After I finished the game with my Five, I pulled it out to use with my Seven. He’s been doing subtraction in school this year, and I thought the game would be a good review.
As it turned out, he knew all the answers relatively quickly. I’ll have to find a more challenging way to review his subtraction facts!
Tips for using the printable
- Use just the flash cards your learner struggles with. (Take out the easy ones!)
- For extra practice, have students go through the entire board twice to win.
- If you’d like learners to be independent with this game, you might write the answer on the back of each card. If you do this, be sure to have the cards be face up as they play.