Fill the Bus Addition Game

Fill the Bus Addition Game

bus coloring page

I'd like to share with you an addition math game! Before drawing, coloring or painting on the free bus page from our Pond Coloring Club you can implement this strategy-packed minimal-prep game that will encourage flexible thinking and integrating strategies. 

Fill the Bus Addition Game

Students will apply a variety of addition strategies to find 4 numbers that make a total. 

You need:
  • a game mat (bus coloring page) for each student
  • a dish of dice (differentiate to suit your learners)
  • number tiles or sticky notes (write a number between 4 and 24 if using six sided dice)
To play:
  • the goal is to have a die in each window of the bus to total a chosen number
  • choose a number from a range that suits your dice (4-24 if using standard dice)
  • place a number tile, card or use a sticky-note and place it on your bus between the windows
  • start rolling dice and place one in each window, keeping a running total 

bus addition

  • you may choose to write your numbers down or draw dots on the bus windows as an addition strategy

bus addition

  • you may choose to keep the first number you roll, or keep rolling until a number of your choice appears
  • on the final window you will need to make sure the roll makes the final total (e.g. after 4, 6 and 3 you must roll a 2 to get to 15)
  • encourage your students to pay attention to the 3rd window also, in anticipation of the final window needing to be a number between 1-6 (they will get better at understanding this after a few plays)
adding 4 numbers

Demonstrate to students some strategies for keeping a running total and working out how much they need to complete the bus:
  • combining numbers to make 10 quickly (in photo above they may see the 6 and 4 and quickly tally 10)
  • using their knowledge of doubles and near-doubles
  • bridging to ten as a beginning step to work out the difference (after rolling 4 in the photo above, they may think I need a 6 to get to 10 and then make 5 after that, I need to make 5 from 2 windows/numbers)
Discussion about various strategies will make more sense after students have had a few turns at the game - so play it often and be prepared for the first time to be challenging. 

Of course, after the game get the pencils out and have more fun drawing and coloring! 


Bus Art Project

You may like your learners to draw and paint a happy school bus when they go back to school! Don't forget that I have a directed drawing ready for you

bus art project
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