This is a three-digit subtraction game to be used in small table groups or centers. It includes puzzles that require regrouping in the tens place, the hundreds place, and the tens and hundreds places, as well as regrouping across zeroes. This is a great review and team-building activity as students work together to find the "Magic Number" of each color set.
There are six colored puzzle sets as well as a blank puzzle set to serve as an extension activity in this download.
Each colored set of puzzle pieces includes six pieces that all have different problems, but the same difference (i.e. all blue pieces have the difference of 291). The mutual difference is the “Magic Number” for the set.
- Cut out the puzzle pieces. Give each student in a group one puzzle piece from one set. Make sure students are working from the same colored set at the same time (i.e. all students in a group are working on blue puzzle pieces).
- When a student solves their puzzle piece, they may flip their piece over to hide their answer while the rest of the group solves their pieces.
- When everyone has solved their given problems, students will assemble the puzzle to see if they all got the same difference, which would be the “Magic Number” for that puzzle.
- If some students got different answers, then the group will work together to determine the correct answer for each puzzle piece and find the “Magic Number” for the set.
- Students may then move on to complete the pieces in another colored set.
- As an extension, I’ve included a blank puzzle piece template so you can challenge students to create their own set of three-digit subtraction problems with the same answer.
“Magic Numbers” (answers) for each color set:
1. Blue set = 291
2. Green set = 390
3. Red set = 279
4. Orange set = 136
5. Yellow set = 153
6. Purple set = 468
7. Turquoise set = Blank extension activity sheet.
*****Recommendation: Laminate the puzzle pieces before cutting them out to allow students to solve the problems using dry erase markers. This will allow you to reuse the pieces.