Flexible additive strategies - 3 digit numbers

This resource has been developed in partnership with the NSW Mathematics Strategy Professional Learning team, Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners, and Literacy and Numeracy.

Using the resource

This resource is the third section of a four-part resource supporting additive thinking. Use this resource in conjunction with the other resources in this series in order to support a connected network of critical mathematical concepts, skills and understanding.

Supporting tasks

Full instructions on how to use each of these tasks - including materials, related tasks and learning intentions - are included in the resource available for download on this page.

Task 1: 360 degrees

Students use the cumulative total of dice rolls to reach 360.

Task 2: 4 turns to 1000

Students use the cumulative total of playing cards to reach 1000.

Task 3: Dicey addition

Students view 'Dicey addition'.

  • Variation 1: Teacher models the game

  • Variation 2: Students develop a strategy that increases their chance of winning

Task 4: Subtraction face off: hundreds, tens and ones

Students use an Explanation spinner and share the strategies used to work out differences.

Task 5: About 250

Students estimate and determine which problems would be approximately equivalent to 250.

Task 6: How many ways can they be related?

Students are provided with a string of numbers and consider how they could move from one number to the next, using any operation.

Task 7: Wipe out!

Students use a calculator to ‘wipe’ a digit from a three-digit number

  • Variation 1: Increase numbers beyond 999

  • Variation 2: Investigate what happens when you want to wipe out a ‘0’

  • Variation 3: Use decimal numbers

  • Variation 4: Use negative numbers

Task 8: Hit the target

Students use playing cards to reach a three-digit target number.

  • Variation 1: Students keep a cumulative total of the difference between their total and the target

  • Variation 2: Change the target each round

  • Variation 3: Make the target a four-digit number

Task 9: Which would you work out in your head? Hundreds, tens and ones

Students use playing cards assigned different decimal values (for example, clubs and hearts are worth tenths) and add or subtract to reach the target number.

  • Variation 1: Remove picture cards and play with cards Ace-10 only
  • Variation 2: Students invent extra rules for playing
  • Variation 3: Change the winning score
  • Variation 4: Highest score after five turns wins

Task 10: Let’s talk 1

Students watch ‘Let’s talk 1’ .


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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