Adding or Subtracting Numbers

Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3

Created by:

Math & Movement

Activity Instructions

Create notecards, writing + and – with numbers up to the amount of digits you want them to add or subtract (+125, -56, etc.). Mix up the cards and place into a large hat or box (or in a pile on the floor if you do not have those items available).

Have a student create a number on the mat up to the amount of place values from which they are able to add or subtract. Have them select a card and add or subtract this number from the number displayed on the mat (depending on the plus or minus from the index card). Begin with the ones digit. Have them figure out the new number in the ones column and place it above the mat. Check to see if the tens digit needs to be modified, then the hundreds, continuing until they have completed the problem. Then, have them hop out their answer.

Examples using millions:
Build the number 1,230,435 then add 2,345,742 to the number. What number do you have now?
Build the number 3,459,439 then add 5,280,190 to the number. What number do you have now?
Build the number 8,290,367 then subtract the number 1,347,860. What number do you have now?


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