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Subtraction Game - 5 Number Card Decks -Top or Tail- Practice Subtraction Facts

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5 MB|27 pages
Product Description
Subtraction GameTop or Tail is an excellent card game for practicing Subtraction skills using numbers 0 to 20. It is also great for reinforcing the concept of odd and even numbers. In this download there are 5 different kinds of card decks. Numbers 1 to 20, Numbers as Words 1 to 20, Tally Deck 1 to 20, Numbers as Dots 1 to 20 and Ten Frames 1 to 20. NB You can use these cards to play any number of games found on GoTeachThis.com requiring number cards.

Essence of the Game:

Players turn numeral cards over then subtract the largest number from the smallest. A throw of the die decides if the highest or lowest total wins the hand.

What You Need:

2 or 3 players
4 lots of numerals 0 to 10
1 set of number cards 11 to 20
1 die marked 1 to 6

How to Play:

1. The person with the longest middle finger is the dealer.

2. Dealer shuffles the cards and shares them evenly between the players.

3. Players shuffle their cards into a personal deck and place them face down on the playing surface.

4. Each player then flips two cards from their deck, uses a strategy to work out the difference between the numbers and says the answer aloud.
NB In the event of a tie, players flip a second pair of cards (on top of the previous cards) and say the new cards' difference aloud.

5. Dealer then throws the die. If the number thrown is even (2, 4 or 6) the highest difference keeps the played cards. If the number thrown is odd (1, 3 or 5) the lowest difference keeps the played cards.

6. When cards are won they are placed in a discard pile next to the player.

7. Play continues in this fashion until each player has no cards left.

8. Players then count the cards they have won and the player with the most cards wins the game.


- Have the students roll the die onto a piece of A4 paper. If the die goes off the paper the throw is disallowed. It helps with so much stuff… believe me, I’ve been there :-)

- Felt is an even better tossing surface than paper as it keeps the noise down.

Before the Game:

- One of the most useful subtraction 'a-ha' moments is when students realise they can use addition to solve subtraction algorithms.
- Explore and investigate using Addition to Solve Subtraction. How does it work?
- Explain the concept of ‘growth’ in math. i.e. You are not born with a fixed amount of mathematical ability. You have the ability to learn and grow in math.
- If someone says, ‘I can’t do it’ have the courage to add “Yet” to it’. What does this statement mean and how can you put it into practice?
- Encourage thought and discussion about mathematical strategies which will make this game flow well.

After the Game:

- What strategies have you developed or practiced to make the addition and subtraction of numbers more efficient?


- Play so the person with the fewest cards at the end of the game is the winner.
- Draw three cards in the flipping phase and create a 2 digit number and a single digit number. Find the difference between these.


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Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
Lifelong tool
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