Thursday, June 23, 2016

Spend It All!

Here is another math activity that will have your students practicing subtraction of decimals, regrouping, and unit rates!  It's also quick and easy to make!

You will need index cards, scissors, glue and store ads.
Cut out items on sale from the store ad.
I tried to chose items that I know my students would be interested in.

Next, glue them onto index cards.  Try to glue them so that you will have room to write on a section of the index card.  Also, only glue one per card.

You have two options to choose from for this next part.  You can either use markers to write on the cards or you can print out the info and glue it onto the cards.  I chose the easier one. :D

Here is what I came up with!  Notice, on some of the cards students will have to determine unit rates.
Here are some more examples for you.

How do you play "Spend It All"?

Number of players:  2 to 4

Materials:  Paper, pencil and one set of "Spend It All" cards.

Directions:  Place cards face down on the center of the table.  Each player starts with $100.  Player 1 takes a card from the top of the stack.  This represents a purchase.  The card will state the number of items the player must buy.  The player will then subtract the amount from their $100.   Player 2 then repeats the same process.  Each player will have different cards (purchases) each time.  The player to "Spend It All" first is the winner!!!

As you can see, it is great practice for subtraction from zeroes and regrouping.
I would let each group have a calculator so they could check each other's work. This is great for immediate feedback and if the student knows he or she did the math correctly, their confidence level is raised!
Here are some closer looks at the cards.  Hopefully it will give you some ideas! :D

I truly hope this activity is helpful and of use to you! I think that it is good to have students work with something they see everyday outside of school, such as these ads. That way, they can actually realize that math IS important to learn and that they WILL use it in their daily life.  


  1. Great idea! Much more permanent way to deal with shopping expeditions. Are there items in there will cost pennies to make it possible to get to exactly 100? Have you every thought to add taxable versus no taxable items? I have used local area restaurant menus in the past so kids also have to figure out tax and tip. One year with a group of my lowest students that had to plan what they were going to order, tax and tip without calculator and if they got it right, they got to go have lunch at the restaurant. Another thing we did back when we had multiple department stores(pre Walmart) was price comparisons...we sent an Ed tech or special Ed teacher out with small teams to price the same items. Back in the class room we compared. We also did buying versus the rent a center true cost for the same items....that was a total eye opener to many of the students who came from rent a center families.

  2. Those are great ideas Ruth! I have also used restaurant menus as stations in my class. I will be posting about those at a later date. Thanks so much for your input and ideas!!! :D