Subtraction Fluency Within 6 No Prep Game

Here is a no-prep game for subtraction fluency to play with your learners. If you have a giant dice (I found this one at a store called Typo) that is great, otherwise you can use a small one or play the video I made for you (at the end of this post) - pausing it for each roll. 

Pumpkin and Crow 

  • students are sitting in a circle
  • the large dice is in the middle of the circle
  • one student is chosen to be Crow
  • Crow stands behind any child in the circle, this child is Pumpkin
  • tell the class that Crow is eager to take one of the dots from the dice, so when a roll is made, it will be one less than the number shown
  • Pumpkin holds the dice
  • on 'go' Pumpkin rolls the dice onto the floor, close by so it can be seen 
  • Pumpkin and Crow compete to say the number that is one less than the roll
  • for example, if the pumpkin rolls a 5, both children race to say 4 the fastest 
  • the rest of the class and teacher ascertain who won
  • if Pumpkin wins, he is the new Crow
  • if Crow wins, he moves behind the child next in the circle (new Pumpkin) and play starts again
  • keep playing as much as possible through the week so as many students have a turn as possible
By playing this game you are providing an opportunity for students to be fluent with subtraction (one less than). Keep encouraging them to have their eyes on the roll and think about the number one less than (even if it's not their turn). 

To extend, make it two less than or two more (for addition), discussing prior to play that if a one is rolled, you can roll again. 

You may also be working on number order and position with your class too. In the Pond Coloring Club today is a page that can be played before it is colored. 

Students must roll a set of dice and put the numbers in order along the pumpkin vine. A one must be rolled first, followed by a 2 and so on.

There are 2 vines on the page, two children could play against one another, or one child play it independently and have two games. 

Play by leaving the dice in position or have students use just one dice and write as each number is scored. 

Differentiation Opportunities

This game can be differentiated with larger numbered dice, or performing operations on smaller numbers. For example, with third grade you may like to do some multiplication and have students record the number that is x2 the roll. Recording a pumpkin vine of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12.

I hope your students have fun with numbers this week!