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Shut the Box is a Great Game to Practice Addition

Updated: Aug 28, 2022


When I notice a student needing extra practice with addition, one of my favorite things to do is have them play Shut the Box. It is a perfect tool for sharpening their addition fact families. And...why not play a game where they're having fun and learning the skill without even realizing it.

Here's how Shut the Box works:

  1. This is a 2 player game.

  2. Take turns rolling the dice and adding them up.

  3. Turn over the different number combinations that equal the sum of the dice.

  4. In the picture, we rolled a 1 and a 3. So you could turn over the 1 and 3, or a 4.

  5. Keep going until you don't have any numbers left that match the sum of the dice.

  6. Player with the LOWEST SCORE wins

  7. Your score is the leftover numbers you didn't turn over. For example, if you had a 25689 left, your score is 25,689. Ouch - that's not the greatest score.

  8. You can play several rounds. Your student really has to know their place value, even up to the millions at times, and line their scores up nicely to add.

  9. If you turn over all the numbers in a round, it's called "Shut the Box"

To recap: kids are learning their addition fact families playing this game. Plus (and this is probably my favorite), when they read to you their score, students are having to practice their place value knowledge. When they add their scores up, they need to line up the digits nicely to get the correct answer. And believe me, they want to win, so they are MOTIVATED.

I would love to know if you tried this game and what you thought!



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