Perfect Zero: A Subtraction Game

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hi there! Today I am going to share a really simple and easily differentiated subtraction game (could be adapted for addition, too!). I just love love love using games for learning. My math block usually looks something like this:

Mini lesson: 15  minutes
Whole group practice: 10 minutes
Independent practice: 10-15 minutes
Games/Centers/Technology: 15 minutes

My goal is to teach my students one new game per week. Then I rotate games and make them options throughout the year. 

When I am teaching a game, I usually play it whole group first. I have found this works best. When I have tried to model playing with a partner in front of the class, many just aren't paying enough attention to be able to go play independently. 

The kids LOVE it when I play versus them. So that's what I do! And I use these large inflatable dice which makes it even more special.
You can find some like these at Oriental Trading: Click here

*side note: the first time I went to use these, I hadn't blown it up beforehand. And I was 9 months pregnant so using my full lung capacity just wasn't happening. So definitely blow up ahead of time--haha!*

Today's game is called "Perfect Zero". This makes a great partner game. 

What's great about this game is you can easily differentiate EACH partner group by assigning a different starting number or changing the amount of dice they use!


In order to win, the person needs to get a PERFECT zero. So if you are down to 5 and you roll a 6, you have to roll again.

My students have a number grid and number line on their name tags. I attach their name tags with a Velcro dot so they can easily remove and take around the room with them which is super helpful for this game!


If you are interested in this name tag template, you can find it here:  Editable Name Tags


Looking for more subtraction games? You can find more like this here:

Happy teaching!





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