Addition & Subtraction with Regrouping {Ideas & Activities}

Looking for some ideas and activities to practice addition and subtraction with regrouping?  Well, you have come to the right place!  

Activities to Teach Regrouping

Let's be honest, worksheets filled with two or three-digit addition and subtraction problems are boring.  Yes, there is a time and a place for these resources, but why not spice up your classroom practice with some hands-on fun?

But first, a word about strategies.  When working with two or three-digit addition or subtraction, I believe that students should be exposed to a variety of problem solving strategies. What works best for one learner might not work best for another, and I tell my students this. 

Once I introduce a new strategy, I like my kids to practice it independently so that they can decide whether that method works best for them.  So, after teaching and modeling a strategy, I let my students give it a go.  One easy way to do this is with the use of task cards.

I recently introduced the open number line strategy,  After modeling this strategy, my students used task cards to practice it at their own pace.  I simply took the task cards off their rings and set them at each table group where the students shared the stack of cards.

This easy idea will work for use with any strategy you might teach.  Here's an example of this using some Scoot cards (which are basically a type of task card) to practice the partial sums strategy.

Ahead of time, I folded some copy paper into thirds and the students used their crayons to draw lines along the folds. This helps them to see the designated space for each problem more easily.  I typically have them practice six problems using the introduced skill.  This gives them some good practice and experience to help them decide whether it's a strategy they want to rely on.

Once I have introduced all of the strategies, it's time for some hands-on fun!  When participating in these activities, the students know that they can use whichever strategy they want.  So, keep reading, grab the freebie, and feel free to pin your favorite ideas!

Make Some Stuff
Crafty projects are always a hit when practicing addition and subtraction with regrouping.  Brag tags are big in my classroom. Last year, I had the idea of letting the kids make their own tags where they could brag about their multi-digit addition and subtraction skills.  Well, let me tell you, the kids thought it was super duper, crazy cool to make their own addition/subtraction brag tags

Another crafty idea is to make a hat.  I used this idea on Valentine's Day one year.  That particular year, candy was off limits which meant no conversation heart math.  Womp womp.  No fear, die cut shapes came to the rescue.

The great thing is, this idea can be used with any holiday theme, or none at all.  Plus, it can also be used when practicing two OR three-digit addition and/or subtraction. Here is a spring version I plan to have my students make soon.   

Solve, Cut, and Glue
Sorts are a great way to give students some hands-on practice.  There are so many ways to sort multi-digit problems: regrouping/no regrouping, even or odd answers, by sums or differences, and so on.  Here are a few flap book sorts we've done this year.

Play Games
Pick a card is a class favorite.  We use it when practicing two and three-digit addition and subtraction.  Students pick two cards, add (or subtract), and then color the boxes on their page after comparing answers with their partner.

Spinner math is always a huge hit with students. The kids treat it like a game.  I often hear them sharing their answers with each other, because they think it's pretty cool when they spin problems with really large sums.  Spinner math is hands-on, engaging, and pretty.darn.exciting.  Honestly, I don't know what it is about using a paperclip that is so darn appealing.  But, I don't question it. I embrace it.  

I also love to bring out whole group games/activities that encourage individual engagement within a whole group setting.  I Spy is a great way to do this!  The kids are up and moving about, all the while practicing their math skills. You can read more about I Spy here.

Scoot is another fun whole group game to practice regrouping skills.  The kids love it, and it's also a great way to encourage individual engagement within a whole group setting.  Sometimes, I use my Scoot cards to facilitate a game of I Spy.  You can read more about Scoot here.

These games and activities can be found here and here.

Go Shopping
Don't worry, I'm not suggesting a trip to your local super store.  Let your students shop those weekly grocery ads that fill up your mailbox week after week.

You could have your students choose two items to buy and add up their prices.  Or, you could have them practice their subtraction skills by tasking them with comparing the prices of selected items.  This activity would work with two or three-digit numbers. You can grab the free recording forms here.

Tip#1: Be sure to remove (cut out) any pictures of alcohol or other items you don't want your students exposed to.
Tip #2: When working with three-digit numbers, you could have your students use dollar signs and decimal points, or you could have them write these amounts as three digit numbers.  It's totally up to you!

I hope you've been able to take away an idea or two today!


Activities to Teach Regrouping

Many of the activities shown in this post can be found in the resources posted below.  You can check them out in my TPT store.  Simply click the image of the product(s) you'd like to see.

Here are a few more related products for your convenience.  Click on an image for more details.

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