This is a really cool activity I made for my third graders: the basic idea is this - instead of giving kids a hundred subtraction problems and mindlessly solving them over and over again, why not have the kids make up their own subtraction problem according to the “properties” of the problem - for example, whether or not it requires regrouping (NOT borrowing!), as well as a target range for the answer, and only using certain digits.
If you look at my other materials, you know I’m always trying to enable students to think “beyond” what they’ve been trained to do, and this is yet another activity that will push your students to seriously think about what they are doing while they are doing it. This is called “metacognition,” by the way, and although it isn’t mentioned in the “Common Core” (or “Common Bore,” as I like to think about it), it is probably the most important aspect of learning mathematics.
You know the drill: cut these out, let the kids work on them on their own time. PLEASE DO NOT USE THESE AS “SCOOT” CARDS! These are thought provoking, time consuming problems that should not be used as “bell ringers,” lest you scare the bejeebers out of your little ones. Seriously, though, these problems can be tricky, and while the answer key I’ve provided shows “a” solution, it may not be the only one.
Where to go from here? Oh, c’mon, you know the drill: let your students make up their own subtraction task cards and share them with one another. Send me photos of their cards, and I’ll include them in an expanded set and send it to you for free!