As I shared yesterday in my Summer Math Camp post, I created this game to help the girls practice adding and subtracting large numbers.
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All you need to play is the game board (which I laminated), a die, some game pieces (I used some from a board game we have, but anything would work), and each player needs a piece of paper and pencil. (You may also want to have a calculator to make checking answers quicker and easier).
To Set Up the Game:
Each player places their game piece at “Start,” and rolls the die. This determines the “starting number” which is written at the top of the paper.
To Play the Adding and Subtracting Large Numbers Game:
Once everyone has a “starting number,” the first player rolls the die again and moves that number of spaces. They then use the appropriate number (based on their roll) to add or subtract (depending on what the square says that they landed on) from their “starting number.”
For example, if a player rolls 3, they move 3 spaces and if it says, “subtract,” then they subtract 964, based on the game chart. If the space says “add,” they add 964.
Once they get an answer, the other players must check the accuracy. If it is correct, they can stay on that space. If it’s incorrect, they must go back to the previous space. (To help keep the game moving, and prevent arguing, I suggest using a calculator to verify answers).
Then the next player continues in the same way. On each new turn, players continue with the previous answer as their “starting number.”
To Win the Game:
There are two possible ways to play:
- The first player to reach the finish, wins.
- All players play to the end, and then the player with the greatest final value wins.
If you play the first way, players are more motivated to get problems right the first time so that they can advance. But if you play the second way, struggling kids still have a chance, and it is exciting to get an “add” square and watch the numbers get bigger, and then hear everyone squeal when someone lands on “subtract!” (Can you tell I played this game with a bunch of girls?!)
To make it more interesting, you might make up different “starting numbers,” or “add/subtract numbers,” or let your kids make up a different set themselves! Just be sure to set the numbers before you start, especially if you are playing to see who gets the greatest value. 😉
Adding and subtracting large numbers, especially when there is a great deal of “borrowing” or “regrouping” involved, is not the most fun and engaging math skill to practice, but hopefully if your kids or students need to work on it and become more fluent, this game will make it more FUN and less WORK! 🙂
Do your kids struggle with subtracting large numbers? Be sure to read this super simple tip to take the frustration out of subtraction!