Subtraction Activities: Get Off My Boat

Subtraction can be a difficult concept for kids to grasp.  The best way for kids to learn challenging math concepts is through hands-on, interactive lessons and games.  Get off my boat is a great way to introduce and practice subtraction!

Subtraction Activities:  Get Off My Boat

This subtraction activity is great because it really helps the students grasp the concept of taking away and making less by getting them involved in a total physical response lesson.  Plus it’s fun and the brain loves novelty!
You need to make a boat on your floor.  We use our SitSpots tape to make our boat!
As you see in the video, I get some people on my boat.  We count them.  I write the number.  Then I make some people get off my boat and we solve the equation!  You can also write an equation on the board and use that to have students get on the boat and then subtract.
subtraction activities
This is another one of our subtraction games that incorporates the students and movement and total physical response as well as working with the equations and number sentences.
And let’s be for real…it’s fun telling them to get off the boat!!!!   #teacherfun
Check out this lesson in the video below!

We also work on subtraction independently and in small groups.  For the independent practice, students get a boat and 10 kids.  I display an equation on the board.  They solve the equation using their boats and then write the equation on their recording sheet.

For more subtraction resources, check out these creations:

For more resources and ideas, check out these blog posts:


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