FERN'S FREEBIE FRIDAY ~ BACK TO SCHOOL MIXED ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION CENTER GAMES

Looking to add some excitement to your center time? These highly engaging center games, Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction, are quick and easy to prep!
FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Game! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas

These centers are quick and easy to prepare, they can be used for a variety of games... concentration, match game, go fish, gin rummy, scoot, read the room, they are self checking, and even perfect for assessments. Once your students play with this deck, many of my other Quick and Easy to Prep centers can be used for different skills and seasons. Your center time will run smoothly and with very little prep from you! 

This Quick and Easy to Prep Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Game is Perfect for a Review for Back to School. Perfect for a "Make It, Take It" Activity for Meet the Parents, Open House, Math Night, etc.
This math resource includes:
A center cover
A math center sign
Four pages of playing cards
Student directions

With today's post, I'm going to share with you some different ways to use these simple games in your math rotations. Research shows that teachers have to spend too much classroom time SHOWING and TEACHING their students how to play different center games. 

Changing up different types of center games each week leads to two different outcomes.

1. The students learn how to play a new game, but they don't play it enough to learn and review the SKILL that was the original intent of the game. Remember the first time you played Clue or Monopoly? You spent A LOT of time learning the GAME, the RULES, but not the problem solving that goes with those game. After 3 or 4 times playing the game, you LEARNED how to focus on the problem solving, the WINNING of the game, since you finally know the routine and the rules. Same with changing the type of center each week for our students. 

2. It takes so much time to teach new games each week that teachers interviewed stated that they simply did not have time. So those teachers tend not to do math stations, math centers. In the long run, their students lose the life skills that come from games. Cooperation, good sportsmanship, strategic planning, problem solving, independence, critical thinking skills, etc. AND teachers lose out on having quality small group time with their students.

I've created most of my center games to be easy to print, cut, laminate {if desired} and store in their classroom. Pieces are easy to cut, either square shaped, or rectangular, perfect for a paper slicer. 

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Different Ways to Use My Center Games In Your Classroom
Keep one page as a game board, do not cut out the individual playing cards. Then, cut out the matching cards. It doesn't matter if you cut out the problems and keep the answers as the game board, like the picture shows, or cut out the answers and keep the problems as the game board. Your students will get practice either way.
If printing is no problem, you can create two different centers, one with the problem page as the game board and another one with the answer page as the game board.

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Different Ways to Use My Center Games In Your Classroom
Another way to play is to cut out all the cards, answers and problems and mix them all together. This pictures shows one way to differentiate this game. It only has the subtraction problems and answers at the center. 

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Different Ways to Use My Center Games In Your Classroom
This picture has just the addition problems and answers for a different skill review. If a little background noise doesn't bother, I use to teach my students how to use a timer at the beginning of the year. The owl in this picture is a timer, if center time is 10 minutes in your class, teach them to set it for 9 minutes. When the timer rings, they will know to clean up because they will be rotating in a minute. If you have 15 minutes for small group, teach them to set it for 14 minutes. They love using a timer, it makes them feel grown up! :)

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Different Ways to Use My Center Games In Your Classroom
You can use this ONE center still another way, for your higher group or for later in the year. This picture has ALL of the addition and subtraction problem and answer cards all mixed up for a bit of a longer challenge.

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Different Ways to Use My Center Games In Your Classroom
If space is at a premium in your classroom, and you don't have set center areas, storing the center in a folder lets the students take it back to their seat, under their seat on the floor, or a quiet corner in the room and have a "CENTER" all ready to use. This becomes even lower prep for you once you teach them where to get the center and the expectations when using that center. 
As you already know, two pocket folders are dirt cheap during the back to school sales. I know I have been on teams where we NEVER used the pocket folders that the school or district supply list at Wal*Mart had for our grade level. 
This way, using them for centers makes me feel a little better about the parents spending money on them. Also, in the past, I have asked parents for these folders when the stores had them marked down to ten and five cents.

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Different Ways to Use My Center Games In Your Classroom
Another way that I really liked, and one that worked well with my third graders, was to keep everything in a gallon Ziploc baggie. The older students can handle the zipper at the top and you will end up with less missing pieces. Once, when I had a very small classroom, center time and silent reading time was the only time they were allowed UNDER their desks, we called it our forts to make that time special. Ziplocs work really well for students moving the center from one location to another for use.

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Different Ways to Use My Center Games In Your Classroom
When using a gallon Ziploc, I put the cover in so that it was showing on one side, and then the directions showing on the other side. Most all of my Quick and Easy to Prep Centers will have a "cover" and a direction page. Then I taught the students that they did not have to pull out those pages. 
This works well if laminating is costly and not easily available at your school. Those two pages will keep well in the baggie. 

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
More Games Using My Center Games

MATH CENTER SNAP!

THE OBJECT OF THE GAME
The goal is to win all or most of the cards.

DEAL
Deal five cards face down, one at a time, to each player. Each player puts their cards in a pile, face down in front of them.

HOW TO PLAY
The youngest student gets to go first. They turn over the top card of the pile and puts it face up starting a pile of cards next to the extra face down card pile. The next player to the left does the same and so on around the table, clockwise.

When someone turns up a card that matches a card already face up, the first person to notice the two matched cards calls out “Snap!” and wins the cards. This player displays the two matching cards in front of them.

During the game, if a player runs out of cards in their face-down pile, they pick up five new cards from the extra card pile, or less than five if the pile is running low. 

The winner has the most pairs of cards at the end of center time.

MATH CENTER GO FISH!

THE OBJECT OF THE GAME
The goal is to win all or most of the cards.

DEAL
Deal five cards face down, one at a time, to each player. Each player puts their cards in their hand so they can read them.

HOW TO PLAY
The youngest student gets to go first. They ask another student, "do you have 12-8= 4?" They may ask this question if they have the answer card or the problem card. Teach this at the beginning of the year, so they mentally work the math out and SPECIFICALLY gain practice with the math.... ultimately the objective of all your math center games.

The other student will give them the card or if they do not have that card, "Go Fish" and the asking student will pull a card for the extra card pile. If they get their exact match, they may go again, from their friend or the extra pile. If not, it is the next student's turn.

The winner has the most pairs of cards at the end of center time.
FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Ways to Use My Games For One Student
To play Match Game or Concentration, the student turns all the cards over face down / problem and answer side down and lays them out on the floor or table. 
This works really well with colored card stock so they can not see thru the cards. My picture was just regular copy paper for a photo example and you can peek and see the answers. ;)

During the game, the student keeps all matching pairs and the object is to collect the most pairs by the end of center time. This can also be a two or three player game by taking turns.

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Ways to Make the Center Self-Checking
To play a very basic center game, when you prep your card deck, use different color Sharpie Markers to make matching symbols on the back of matching cards. 
Then the student turns all the cards face up / problem and answer side up and lays them out on the floor or table. They work the math, mentally, or with a white board, and then flip the two pairs over to see a matching symbol on the back to know it is the correct pair.
For remediation of your low babies, you can do like my photo example and just do three or four pairs of problems at your small group time. This will allow them fewer answers to select from and be more successful in reviewing their facts. 

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Ways to Make the Center Self-Checking
This is just like the above directions only when you prep your card deck, use cute little stickers to make matching pictures on the back of matching cards. I know when I buy stickers for my planners, I always have a lot of those little-bitty stickers left over after I use the big, fun ones! Those stickers are perfect for this. 

FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Prepping Center Games
I know I said that two pocket folders are inexpensive, but I wanted to share this folder I found, it's front cover is all glittery and it was worth the little extra expense for a little sparker at my center! I also created some with red card stock so that the students in my small group remediation group felt like it was a different {a new} center just for them with fewer cards. Just one more little tip, but the possibilities are endless! 
FREE Back to School Mixed Addition and Subtraction Center Games! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Storing the Center Games

I like to store my center games in a filing cabinet, both the folder option and the baggie option fit nicely into your files. I have spent most of my career in primary education, which is usually seasonal, so I keep all my files by month, August at the front and working my way back to June! I hope some of these items help you with your small group time by having some engaging games from your other students at centers. 


Common Core Standards
2.OA.B.2, K.OA.A.2, K.OA.A.5, 1.OA.C.6


JUST FOR FUN, HERE'S TWO MORE FREEBIES FOR THESE STANDARDS FOR YOU!

Quick and Easy to Prep Mixed Subtraction Basic Facts Center Freebie! CLICK HERE!

If not, click here to read that Freebie Friday blog post and download your copy of Back to School First Day and Last Day of School Coloring Pages. 
Enjoy your weekend friends!
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