Category: Math Resources

Farkle – Subtraction With Regrouping

It can be difficult to find games that have regrouping in them. This is one game that I love because it gives the various options of regrouping. It also works on subtracting from 1000. I have found that subtraction games are less common than addition games. In grade 2, we work on subtraction concepts from 100 but I have found that once students understand the concept of regrouping 1000’s aren’t much different. You can adapt this game so that they start from a lower number and subtraction smaller numbers if needed. This game is also great because it requires very few materials.  Just a pencil, paper and some dice. In the classroom I often let students use whiteboard markers so they can quickly erase the equations after. 

This game was taken from:

B.C. Canada Curriculum Grade 2 Math:

Subtraction Games

Basic Subtraction Games To Focus On Fluency:

At the beginning of the year I always like to focus on basic fluency facts through games. I do this because it gives me a window into students abilities. I am always observing students behaviour in the first couple of weeks. So while my students are playing games for math, I am walking around, taking notes, looking at problem solving skills and assessing them in my mind based on what I am seeing. This is not necessarily my only assessment but it does give me an idea of where my students are at. This year I took my students back to basics when doing subtraction because I have found that subtraction can be a difficult concept for students. I want them to have the basics and the building blocks first before I move on and challenge them. It is also very interesting to watch your students play math games at the beginning as you see what strategies they have, which ones they need and how they generally react when they are unsure about a concept. You can tell quickly, which ones are anxious about not knowing the answers and which ones are solid in their strategies.

I chose to use the Bump game because it was a game I had already taught before. I used a different version of Bump for addition. I like to use similar games when teaching a new concept because then the students only have to focus on learning and remembering the mathematical concept versus trying to remember both the concept and how to play the game. The saying I always use is that when learning something new, their should only be one new new. This means that either the game is the same and the content is different or the game is different but the content is the same. Too much new, is overwhelming and often results in kids being confused or frustrated.

The games that I used to start, they are from Games for Learning. I printed them in black and white but put the on bright coloured paper. I only taught one game per week so these two games lasted me for two weeks. When playing the Take from 13 Bump game I didn’t use a differentiation and here’s why. Sometimes I find that even when students know how to do something well the practice doesn’t hurt them. I watched my students and just let them use this game to have fun even if they were super solid in the concept. I also took this opportunity to teach these students about empathy, in that if they were working with a student who didn’t have solid skills yet, they would be able to learn from the students who did.

When Introducing A New Concept: Differentiation

Challenge: During the first week of a new concept in that year (the kids may already know it or have seen it before but since they’ve had the summer off, I want to make sure I review the skills so they have the proper understanding), I always start simple as I have previously said. For those kids who need a challenge I challenge them in the second week. To adapt the Take From 13 Bump I had student think of other equations that would result in the answers. For example, instead of 13 – 3 = 10, they had to think of what other equations could equal to 10. Such as this, 20-6=13-3=10. Essentially I had them continue to add addends to make the equation two steps instead of one. With the Robot Bump, to make it more challenging I had the student switch the numbers around. For example, instead of just finding the equation they would answer the question and then switch the number such as 18-6 and then they had to solve 81-6. This just gives them a bit more of a challenge and a second step.

Support / Simplify: In order to support those students who may struggle with this concept I taught them several strategies. These are strategies that they would’ve practice using with addition and ones that I would work on them with when they are doing their math with me. I teach them the strategies of using base-ten blocks, hundreds charts and ten frames. I choose these ones because they are easy to use, the kids can do them independently (after they’re taught) and they are kinesthetic. Anytime I can have students using manipulatives such as base-ten blocks or double-sided counters I will because it provides the physical movement and visual aspects that some kids need. When simplifying, I always think about what strategies I can teach the kids for them to be able to work through these games. If they still need even further assistance I will play the game with them, set them up to play with a partner who can help them or have an EA work with the group.

IPad Games In The Classroom

IPad Website For Math

This year I have been using Splash Learn website and the Splash Math section for our math stations. IPad’s is a great way to give some extra support and practice for students. Plus, all students love the IPad’s so it ends up being an incentive. Based on what I have learned through my research in games is that there are several different features that make games appealing to students. They are the rewards, feedback, graphics and difficulty. I have really enjoyed use Splash Math this year because it allows for me to send out differentiated lessons to each student. I can have students working on different things while on the IPad’s and they are doing this independently.

Within the Splash Learn website there are hundreds of different games for students to play. A teacher would set it up with a class list and provide the grade level of the class. After that kids will learn their log in information and simply log in to play. It is really handy because it is free and it is online so it doesn’t require you to download it. It also doesn’t require any specific information about your students which keeps your students privacy safe. You simply click sign in and it will take you to the sign in screen for students or adults.

From here the students click student, enter their class code that is given to you when you sign up and they select their name then enter their password. The passwords are auto generated I print out the list and staple it beside the IPads incase the students forget.

This is what the dashboard looks like. On the left it shows you what the teacher has sent you and then you can go through and play other games. You also collect coins for different games and there are various rewards as you go. Splash Learn will also send you updates as a teacher as to whether your students have completed the assignments sent and how well they did on it. This is very helpful information to see what they’re able to do in a different way and on their own.

Starter Math Games

Here are some games that I have previously used in my grade 2 class this year. These are printable games in which I have student slide the paper game into whiteboard sleeves. I only print out 5 or 6 copies because these are partner games. These games are also played based on their groups. Therefore, I do not need to print one copy per student. I also choose to print them on card stock and different colours of paper. This way when I file them, it is easy to see the different games and it makes it more fun for the students.  Side note: students respond well to coloured organization so if a student is confused which game they are playing you can respond by “what colour is your group?” This also helps for differentiation.

Place Value:

Here are some place value games that I love. These games are from Games4Learning. I used these at the beginning of the year to evaluate which of my students knew their place value and which ones didn’t. My students loved these because they love the graphics on them and they love dinosaurs. Now, one key factor we know about engagement with games is the graphics. A game without graphics will generally not be as appealing as a game with some graphics. This is not fool proof but especially in younger grades, graphics are one way that provides immediate buy in.

These games are found at:

Addition with adding multiple numbers:

The games I chose at the beginning of the year for addition strategies are called Pig and Going to Boston. I found them at Susan Jones Teaching These games focus on the addition of multiple numbers and allows you to differentiate easily.  Susan Jones does a Sunday Spotlight on Youtube where she demonstrates various math games. She has lots and lots of great ideas, so I encourage you to check it out.

Here is the link:

I found this resource at:

Shake and Spill:

Another great way of knowing students fact fluency is by using this shake and spill sheet. It is a kinesthetic opportunity for students to subitize and explain their thinking.  I enjoy this because although it is not a two player game it gives insight into students thinking. If students can’t determine what combinations make 10 and 20 then they are not ready to move onto higher numbers. This is a foundational skill.  We use a cup and red and yellow double sided counters to show the combinations. We have also used 6 or 9 sided dice as a small interview. After students have rolled a number I will say build that number which counters, then explain to me how many more you need to make 10 or 20, tell me how you know that.

Here is where I got this resource from:

Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks

Box Cars And One Eyed Jacks

Okay, let me tell you about an AMAZING resource called Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks created by Jane Felling and John Felling. Last year, before COVID-19 my colleague and I went to a workshop called Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks. This workshop was the most high energy and exciting workshop I have been to. I have never been more engaged with math and learning how to teach it. The whole concept revolves around games and how to reinforce concepts through playing games with dice, cards and dice shakers.

Dice Trays:

Here is how I store my dice trays.

The first thing we were introduced to was these 36 dice trays. These dice trays allow for two different coloured dice to be used within the same game. Using these trays alone allowed for 40 different games between grades K-3. First of all, I loved how there were two different coloured dice options which allows for students to compromise between who got the blue and white dice. Second of all, I loved that these trays kept the dice easily contained and organized. As an elementary teacher, keeping things organized is one of the most important things in terms of being able to have a effective classroom. Third of all, because their are two sides to the trays (top and bottom part), this allows for students to have their own tray part if they have trouble sharing. I use this wicker basket I had to store the dice trays in. I also use rubbers bands to keep the dice trays together, although it was suggested to use to use hair ties which I may be investing in soon.

Here is the link to purchase the dice trays and rolling into math game book.


In my classroom I have designated a specific part of a shelf where math tools are placed. Here you see the trays, my math manipulative kits and extra tools. Tools include playing cards, base ten blocks, dice trays and extra dice. At the beginning of the year my students and I review how to use this space appropriately, when we use this space and what it should look like when they have finished with their tools. In order to create the sign, all I did was cut out black card stock and glued white cut out letters on top. I like having this section labelled as is allows for students to have a visual reminder of where things are and continues to expose them to words. You could also use pictures for younger students. In my class we always explicitly talk about where everything is at the beginning of the year and then practice using these spaces. In doing this, we create independence so that students are able to get what they need without needing to ask.

Rolling into Math Games Book:

The dice trays correlate to a book called Rolling into Math and this book is hands down fantastic. The first thing you will notice about the book is that is breaks down every game into level, skills, players, equipment, goal, getting started, math journal and extensions. These categories make it so easy to pick out a game that will work for any of your students. Often times in classrooms there is a large variety of students with a large variety of skill sets. Within a classroom you can have students who are still working on basic building blocks of or math, students who are working at the expected level of math for their grade and even student who are working well beyond their expected level. These games progress in levels so that you can use the same game and provide different variations to match the game level to the goal of the student. So if you have a student who is still building basic math skills then you can give them the same game as those who’ve progressed farther but it is more appropriate for the skills they are working on. This variation of levels makes it easy to prep these games for your entire class. Also, these books are so easy to understand that even if you have never played the game before the instructions make it easy to explain and provides pictures for further understanding. When you purchase the book there are printable in there which make it so easy to pick a game based on a skill, photocopy the master, explain and distribute to your students. When I print copies for my students to play with, I use coloured card stock. This isn’t necessary but I find that when I print it in colour it helps me to differentiate between the games in my master bin so I am reusing the same games year after year instead of reprinting them each year. I also like using card stock because it makes the games more durable which make them last longer. I use whiteboard inserts for my students to place the game boards into, again making them reusable. You can find the rolling into math book here:

Rolling into Math – with dice tray



Math Resources

In this section of my website I will be uploading various math resources that I use within my classroom. I will explain how I set them up, implement them and adapt them to my students needs.  This area will focus specifically on gamification and game-based learning.