Snowflake Math for Addition, Subtraction and More!

Up here in the Great White North, the weather truly is frightful. . .

So, I'm thrilled that Linda Nelson has been kind enough to share this collection of Snowflake Math Activities that kids just love. . .

From Linda: Connecting snow with learning is definitely a win-win situation. When I saw these foam snowflakes at the dollar store, my brain started whirling like the snowflakes in a snow globe!

If you don't happen to be going by a Dollar Store (that has these in stock), here's a full-page snowflake outline to download and print instead. If you have blue cardstock, it will look A LOT like the Dollar Store version. (This also works well printed on white.)

*We've just added a template for a blank die, snowflakes with the numbers filled in, and ten frame counting dice to this download!

The six sides of these snowflakes are perfect for lots of math games! 

Addition and Subtraction Game: For this addition and subtraction activity, you'll need a snowflake for each player plus some dominoes to share. The game works well with two players, but if you have enough dominoes, it would be good for a small group activity, too. I used a Sharpie to label each of the points one through six, and then put a zero in the center.

To Play: Scatter all the dominoes face down between the players. Take turns turning over one domino. Add or subtract the numbers on it to make one of the numbers on the snowflake.  If you can make one of the numbers, put the domino on that branch of your snowflake. If there's already a domino on that number, put the domino to the side and it's on to the other player's turn. The exception is zero. Whenever a player subtracts to make zero, he or she puts that domino on the zero, continuing to add to the stack whenever a sum or difference of zero is made.

In this picture, my granddaughter, who is becoming quite a practiced hand model, has used 6-1 to cover five, 4+0 to cover four (might also have been 4-0), and 5-3 to cover two.

There are two ways to win: Be the first player to cover all the numbers around the tips of the snowflake OR stack three dominoes on zero. I love games with two ways to win, as they open up so many more possibilities for strategic thinking!

This game can easily be modified to meet your students' needs!

* Developing Number Sense:  For the youngest learners (who are working on developing number sense), use dice instead of dominoes and get some quick practice in subitizing.  Just leave the zero out of the center and roll one die. When they are confident with numbers through six, use a ten sided die, change the numbers on the snowflake, and keep on playing. (A great big foam die adds extra fun to this version or you can use the die labelled 5 - 10 in the download!)

* The Tricky Teens:  For students learning numbers 11 - 20, use the dice in this download instead of dominoes. Kids practice counting items within ten frames as they play.

* Addition Within Five: Sort through your dominoes to turn this into an addition game. Look for dominoes that total five or less for this version. (Have your students do the sorting to fit even more math practice into this activity!)  Now they'll use addition to find sums within five.

* Subtraction Within Five: For subtraction using dice, roll two dice and subtract. For this version, label only the tips of the snowflake, using the numbers zero through five.

* Doubles for Addition: Working on the addition doubles strategy? Label your branches 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 (or print the one in this download). Roll one die, double the number, and cover it.

Keep the snowy math learning going with this free set of Eight Winter Math Games for First Grade! Each game is just one page, with no cards to prepare or to lose. Click here or on the picture below to get this set free at my TpT store!

From Anne: My good friend, Linda, truly has a gift for developing no prep math games. These offer the academic rigor teachers need, and each one features a special twist that kids just LOVE! 

Thanks so much for sharing, Linda!


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