We just finished up our Space Unit (which is one of the boy's favorites). During the unit we played a game called "Plus or Minus the Stars". It was a great way to reinforce the math concepts of "plus" and "minus" as well as one to one correspondance. Here are the rules to the game:
Game mats with 20 colored stars, linking cubes, 1 numbered die and one -/+ die for each student.
Pass out game mats, 1 numbered die and 1 plus or minus die to each student.
Say, "Today we are going to take a trip to the stars. Each of you have a game mat and two dice. The mat has 20 stars. One die has numbers and the other die has plus and minus signs. Remember that plus means to add and minus means to subtract or to take away."
Demonstrate to the students how to roll the two dice together.
Say, "After you roll your dice you will do as they say. First look at the number die. It says ______ (whatever number you rolled). The plus or minus die rolled on a _______________________________. That means that I will (add or subtract) that many cubes to cover the stars. We will play in two sets of teams to see who will be the first one to cover all of their stars on their game mat."
Note: If a students rolls minus and does not have enough cubes or none on their mat simply remove what is available.
To go along with the space theme, I've just added a Level B Guided Reading book to the store called "The Rocketship". Here's a preview of some of the artwork: