Bowling to Learn Subtraction: Great Guided Math and Center Activities

Posted on June 29, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Bowling is a great way to teach children subtraction through ten.  Afterall, there are ten pins and when you throw, away they go.  Buy a real play bowling set from Target, Walmart or Kmart and roll away!   You can also make or downlowd bowling subtraction sheets.  And of course, there are virtual versions of bowling to practice subtraction!  I love the internet!

Be sure to have the children talk about what they rolled and what remains. This takes the conversation to the abstract level, especially if you record some of the thinking.  It might sound like this:  “So Maria, you knocked down 3 pins.  How many more pins do you need  to topple all ten?”  That type of question frames it as a 3 + ? = 10  Or, it might sound like this, ” Taylor, you had 10 and bowled away 5, how many are left?”  That type of question frames it as 10-5 =?

After you play this a great deal, you can set up these types of problems in the word problem center and students then have a context for solving these problems.  Remember that concrete, pictorial and then abstract scaffolds mathematical success!

Here are a few links to get you started!

Digital Bowling Game

Blackline Masters

First Grade Schoolbox (includes pictures)


Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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