Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Subtraction Bowling

It's the end of the year, and I am getting bored...so I have been all over Pinterest lately trying to find activities that are fun, engaging, not a lot of work to set up, and still work on IEP goals!  I think I found a good one this week....subtraction bowling!  When I went back and looked over my pin boards, I realized I had pinned this bad boy 2 times...so it must be a keeper! ha!  The only materials are plastic cups and a ball!  We had both laying around the classroom.  We only had clear cups, which I was worried would make it hard to tell if they had been knocked over or not...so one of my students helped me out and painted the cups all different colors!

 I drew circles on a yellow piece of paper for the kids to set up the cups on.  This visual helped A LOT in set-up!  

The concept of this activity is pretty simple...set up the "pins," throw the ball....

and knock over as many pins as possible!

 The only problem I found was that my kids were confused with which pins were "knocked over" vs. which pins were "knocked off the yellow sheet of paper."  Depending on each group's level, we played the game a little differently to accommodate.  No matter which group I was working with, however, we completed the worksheet below.  The kids had to write in how many pins they knocked over and how many were left standing up.  Then we said the subtraction problem out loud (i.e. "10 - 4 = 6").  You can download this worksheet for FREE here.  

This activity was a huge hit!  My kids couldn't get over the fact they got to "bowl" during their direct instruction time!  I guess it was not only a treat for me, but also for them....and they say kids with autism don't like change.   Our kids do like new things...they just need them presented in a structured way!


  1. very clever! I have a bowling set up using large water bottles filled with gravel. I never considered drawing circles on paper or turning it into a subtraction drill! thank you again,

  2. I love it! Kids will love it and hopefully they will be the ones going after the 'pins' too : )
    Kids Math Teacher

  3. How fun! I work with several kids with autism....and now following your blog! Laura