Provide children with a number path game board. Children take turns rolling a number cube to determine how many counters to place on the game board. One child counts out the counters based on the number rolled and another child counts to make sure it’s the correct number. Children then place the counters on the game board, one per space. Children then choose a plus or minus card, adding or removing that many counters from the board, again checking with their partner to make sure they added or removed the correct number. Children switch roles and continue until they get to the end of the path to get the animals home.
Primary Objective
 Producing and understanding number combinations of totals to 4 or more
How to use
If most students cannot consistently create and count sets of up to 10 objects using onetoone correspondence, you may want to instead preview the Roll, Count, & Land version of the activity.
Materials
 One 10space number path game board for each pair of students
 One 20space number path game board (optional)
 20 counting chips (10 in one color and 10 in a second color)
 One small checking plate
 Two small bowls to hold the counting chips (one per player)
 One number cube with 13 dots
 Plus/Minus cards
 Get the Animals Home activity step icons
 Counting wand (optional)
Steps of the activity
The activity steps icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps. They’re also a helpful scaffold for children!
Find a sample script for teachers to use here.
Setup 1
Provide a game board, one checking plate, one number cube, and two sets of different colored counting chips, one color for each child.Step 1
Teacher rolls the number cube and tells how many are on it.Step 2
Teacher counts out that many counters from the bowl and puts them on the plate.Step 3
Teacher asks the child, “Am I right?” Child checks.Step 4
Teacher puts the counters from the plate onto the game board, one per space.Step 5
Teacher says how many total counters they have on the game board now and child confirms.Step 6
Plus/Minus cards are placed face down and teacher selects one card.Step 7
Teacher says how many total counters they have on the game board now and child confirms.Step 8
Teacher and child switch roles and play again.Step 1
Teacher adds more counters to the board based on the number shown on the counting card.Step 1
Teacher removes counters from the board based on the number shown on the counting card.Instructions
Instructions for introducing the activity to the {group title}
Activity SetUp  
Choose which board and number cubes you’re going to use based on children’s counting skills. Don’t forget to include enough counting chips for each player based on the game board you choose. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER


WarmUp Activity (optional)  
First, we’re going to try a fun counting game called Get the Animals Home using this counting wand! 
Show children the counting wand. 
When I point the wand at you like this, it means it’s your turn to start counting. You start at one and keep counting until I move the wand away like this. So, you keep counting as long as the wand is pointing to you. When I lift the wand away, stop counting and your turn is done. Then I will move on and point to someone else. The next person will keep counting from where we left off. 
Point the counting wand at one child, read the first instruction, then stop pointing to the child. 
Let’s try it! 
Point the wand at different children, one at a time, encouraging them to count as long as you are pointing to them. Encourage the next child to continue counting where the previous child left off. 
Now you start at 1 for us. 
Point the wand at the first child and keep pointing until the child has counted for a bit. 
Now you are going to start where (first child’s name) stopped. 
Move the wand to point to a second, randomly selected, child. Continue to move the wand from child to child until reaching 10 (or 20 if you are using the 120 game board). 
Introduce the Activity  
We’re going to play Get the Animals Home with math signs! 10space game board: 20space game board: We’re going to fill in the boxes with our counters to help. Each space needs a (first color counter) and a (second color counter), so it’s okay to share spaces on a box. 
Choose one child to demonstrate the activity with you. Give the child a set of counters in one color and you get a second set of counters in a different color (place counters in small bowls). 
Does anyone know what this math sign is and what it means? 
Show children a plus sign. Allow children to respond. 
This is a plus sign. It means adding something, or putting more counters on the board. 

So, if we have a +1, that means we put one more counter on the board. 
Model putting one counter on the game board. 
Does anyone know what this math sign is and what it means? 
Show children a minus sign. Allow children to respond. 
This is a minus sign. It means subtracting or taking away something, or taking counters off the board. 

If we have a 1, that means we take one counter away, off the board. 
Model removing one counter from the game board. 
This is a zero card. It means none or nothing. What do you think happens if you choose a zero card? ThinkPairShare with your partner. 
Show a + or – 0 card. Invite children to ThinkPairShare with a partner. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

A zero card means you do not add or subtract (put on or take away) anything. 
Explain what the +/ zero card means. 
Let’s practice! I’ll show you all a card and you ThinkPairShare with your partner what it means: Do we add one, take away one, or do nothing? 
Randomly show children +/1 and +/0 cards, giving them time to ThinkPairShare with their partner what each means. Clarify and correct as needed. 
Model the Activity  
We’re going to use these pictures to help us remember the steps. 
Show children the activity step icons. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

First, I roll the cube and say how many are (or which number is) on the top of the cube. This will tell me how many counters I need to put on the board to help get bear/bird home! 
Point to the first activity step icon. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

I rolled [number]. 
Roll the cube and say the number. 
Then, I count that many counters from my bowl and put them on my plate. I’m going to make sure I stop when I get to [# rolled on cube]. 
Point to the second activity step icon. Count out the correct number of counters from your bowl and place them on the checking plate. 
Next, I turn to my partner and ask, “Am I right?” My partner looks at the cube, then counts the chips on my plate and tells me if I am right. We work together to fix it if we need to. 
Point to the third activity step icon. Model how the partner will count to check the number of chips. 
Next, I put the chips from the plate onto the game board. I put one counter on each of the spaces on the board. 
Point to the fourth activity step icon. Place the counters on the game board. 
Then I say how many counters I have now, how far along the path I am. I have (# of counters you have placed) counters/spaces. 
Point to the fifth activity step icon. Model figuring out how many counters you have on the board. This may include counting from 1 or, once you’ve taken at least one turn, counting from where you left off in your previous turn. 
Now I ask my partner, “Am I right?” 
Again, point to the fifth activity step icon. Allow child to confirm whether you’re right. 
Next, I take a card from the pile. This will let me know if I need to add more counters, take some away, or keep it the same. 
Point to the sixth activity step icon. Depending on what card you draw, go to the addition or subtraction steps of the instructions, or if you draw a zero card, keep the counters the same and go to the next turn. 
ADDITION STEPS  
Plus 1! That means I add one more counter. I put one more counter on the board. 
Point to the seventh ADDITION activity step icon. Show the +1 Plus/Minus card. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

Now I put one more counter on the board. 
Point to the eighth ADDITION activity step icon. Add one counter to the game board. 
Then, I say how many counters I have now, how far along the path I am. I have (# of counters you have placed) counters/spaces. 
Point to the ninth ADDITION activity step icon. Model figuring out how many counters you have on the board. This may include counting from 1 or, once you’ve taken at least one turn, counting from where you left off in your previous turn. 
Now I ask my partner, “Am I right?” 
Point to the ninth ADDITION activity step icon. Allow child to confirm whether you’re right. 
Now we switch turns! 
Point to the last activity step icon. Have the child also go through each of the steps in the activity. You may also model having a second turn for yourself to show children how to continue counting and placing chips. Be sure you model what happens with a +/ 0 card while in Whole Group. 
SUBTRACTION STEPS  
Minus 1! That means I take away one counter. I remove one counter from the board. 
Point to the seventh SUBTRACTION activity step icon. Show the 1 Plus/Minus card. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

Now I take one counter off the board. 
Point to the eighth SUBTRACTION activity step icon. Remove one counter from the game board. 
Then, I say how many counters I have now, how far along the path I am. I have (# of counters you have placed) counters/spaces. 
Point to the ninth SUBTRACTION activity step icon. Model figuring out how many counters you have on the board. This may include counting from 1 or, once you’ve taken at least one turn, counting from where you left off in your previous turn. 
Now I ask my partner, “Am I right?” 
Point to the ninth SUBTRACTION activity step icon. Allow child to confirm whether you’re right. 
Now we switch turns! 
Point to the last activity step icon. Have the child also go through each of the steps in the activity. You may also model having a second turn for yourself to show children how to continue counting and placing chips. Be sure you model what happens with a +/ 0 card while in Whole Group. 
Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity
What to do next
Are some students ready for more challenge? Try the adaptations provided above for Whole Group. On another day, have the students play in pairs in a Small Group .
If some students can’t yet consistently create and count sets of up to 10 objects using onetoone correspondence, they may benefit more from playing the Roll, Count, & Land version of this activity.
Materials
For each pair of students playing:
 One 10space number path game board for each pair of students
 One 20space number path game board (optional)
 20 counting chips (10 in one color and 10 in a second color)
 One small checking plate
 Two small bowls to hold the counting chips (one per player)
 One number cube with 13 dots
 Plus/Minus cards
 Get the Animals Home activity step icons
 Counting wand (optional)
Steps of the activity
The activity steps icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps. They’re also a helpful scaffold for children!
Find a sample script for teachers to use here.
Setup 1
Provide a game board, one checking plate, one number cube, and two sets of different colored counting chips, one color for each child.Step 1
Child 1 rolls the number cube and tells how many are on it.Step 2
Child 1 counts out that many counters from the bowl and puts them on the plate.Step 3
Child 1 asks Child 2, “Am I right?” Child 2 checks.Step 4
Child 1 puts the counters from the plate onto the game board, one per space.Step 5
Child 1 says how many total counters they have on the game board now and Child 2 confirms.Step 6
Plus/Minus cards are placed facedown and Child 1 selects one card.Step 7
Child 1 says how many total counters they have on the game board now and Child 2 confirms.Step 8
Children switch roles and play again.Step 1
Child 1 adds more counters to the board based on the number shown on the counting card.Step 1
Child 1 removes counters from the board based on the number shown on the counting card.Instructions
Instructions for introducing the activity to the {group title}
Activity SetUp  
Choose which board and number cubes you’re going to use based on children’s counting skills. Don’t forget to include enough counting chips for each child based on the game board you choose. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER


Introduce the Activity  
10space bear game board: OR 20space bird game board:

Give each pair of children one game board, one checking plate, Plus/Minus cards, and number cubes. Give each child a bowl with 10 or 20 counters, depending on the game board used. 
It’s time to help the animals find their way home!
We’ll work together on the same game board and you’ll take turns rolling and checking. 

Remember, this time, we’re also going to use these cards that will tell us if we need to add more or subtract (take away) more. 
Point to the Plus/Minus cards. 
Who remembers what this math sign is and what it means?
This is a plus sign. It means adding something, or putting more counters on the board. 
Show children a plus sign. Allow children to respond. 
So if we have a +1, that means we put one more counter on the board. 
Model putting one counter on the game board. 
Who remembers what this math sign is and what it means? This is a minus sign. It means subtracting or taking away something, or taking counters off the board. 
Show children a minus sign. Allow children to respond. 
If we have a 1, that means we take one counter away, off the board. 
Model removing one counter on the game board. 
Who remembers what this means? This is a plus/minus zero. It means we do not add/subtract any counters from the board. 
Show children a plus or minus zero card. Allow children to respond. 
You will also have picture cards to help you remember how to play and to remind you whether you are the roller and counter or the checker. 
MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

Model the Activity  
[Child 1], you get the hand card first because you get to roll and count first.
Okay, roll the cube and tell us how many you rolled, and put that many on your plate. 
Place the hand role card in front of the child who is rolling and counting first. Point to the first and second activity step icon. Child 1 rolls the cube, states the number rolled, and places that many counters on the plate. MAKE IT HARDER
If children already have chips on the board, have them tell how many chips they had before rolling, what they rolled, and how many total chips they will have after rolling—all before manipulating chips. 
[Child 1], now ask your partner, “Am I right?” 
Point to the third activity step icon. 
[Child 2], it’s your turn to check if your partner is right.
You get the check card first because you get to check first.
Do they have the right number of counters? 
Place the check role card in front of the child who is checking first. Point to the third activity step icon. After the child checks, ask them to confirm whether the correct number of counters were produced. 
If children did not produce the correct number of chips, say, ThinkPairShare with each other to figure out how we could fix it to have the right number of chips. 
If the correct number was not counted onto the plate, encourage children to ThinkPairShare and work together to fix it. It may be easier for children to remove the chips and start over than to fix the mistake by adding to or taking away from the chips already on the plate. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

[Child 1], now you can put the counters on board; put only one counter in each space! 
Point to the fourth activity step icon. Child 1 places counters on the game board. MAKE IT HARDER

[Child 1], you count how many counters you have on the board in all, and ask your partner, “Am I right?” 
Point to the fifth activity step icon. Child 1 counts the total number of chips they have (in their color) on the board. MAKE IT HARDER

[Child 2], now check them again. Are they right? 
Again, point to the fifth activity step icon. Encourage children to check each other, correcting as necessary. 
[Child 1], now you take a card from the pile. This will let you know if you need to add more counters, take some away, or keep it the same. 
Point to the sixth activity step icon. Depending on what card you draw, go to the addition or subtraction steps of the instructions, or if you draw a zero card, keep the counters the same and go to the next turn. 
ADDITION STEPS  
Plus 1! That means you add one more counter. 
Point to the seventh ADDITION activity step icon. Show the +1 Plus/Minus card. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

Now you put one more counter on the board. 
Point to the eighth ADDITION activity step icon. Children add one counter to the board. Encourage children to figure out how many counters they have now; this may include counting from the beginning, counting from where they left off, or verbalizing addition and subtraction language. 
Now ask your partner, “Am I right?” 
point to the ninth ADDITION activity step icon.
Encourage children to check each other, correcting as necessary. 
Now switch turns! 
Point to the final activity step icon.
Have children trade role cards so the first child now has the check card and the second child has the hand card. 
SUBTRACTION STEPS  
Minus 1! That means you take away one counter. 
Point to the seventh SUBTRACTION activity step icon.
Show the 1 Plus/Minus card. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

Now you take one counter off the board. 
Point to the eighth SUBTRACTION activity step icon. Children remove one counter from the board. 
Now you say how many counters you have, how far along the path you are. 
Point to the ninth SUBTRACTION activity step icon.
Encourage children to figure out how many counters they have now; this may include counting from the beginning, counting from where they left off, or verbalizing addition and subtraction language. 
Now ask your partner, “Am I right?” 
Point to the ninth SUBTRACTION activity step icon. Encourage children to check each other, correcting as necessary. 
Now switch turns! 
Point to the final activity step icon. Have children trade role cards so the first child now has the check card and the second child has the hand card. 
Time to Play!  
It’s time to switch roles and play again! If you were the roller and counter the first time, you are now the checker. If you were the checker the first time, now you get to be the roller and counter. 
Lead students through the activity with the activity step icons.Lead students through the activity with the activity step icons. 
After the next partner has placed their counters on the board, switch roles again and keep playing until you both reach the end and get the bear to its cave (or the bird to its nest)! 
Continue through the steps until both children reach the end of the game board. If one child reaches the end well before the other child, they can work together to fill in the remaining spaces, continuing to take turns. 
Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity
What to do next
Did some students need more support or more challenge? Don’t forget to try out some of the adaptations provided above for Small Group. Continue working in Small Groups with teacher support until students can comfortably play with minimal teacher guidance. Then have students practice the activity independently in Center.
Did some of your students play the Roll, Count, & Land version of the game in Small Group? If so, then they should also play that version during Center time. Don’t forget, children should play the Plus & Minus version in Small Group before playing in Center time!
Materials
For each pair of students playing
 One 10space number path game board for each pair of students
 One 20space number path game board (optional)
 20 counting chips (10 in one color and 10 in a second color)
 One small checking plate
 Two small bowls to hold the counting chips (one per player)
 One number cube with 13 dots
 Plus/Minus cards
 Get the Animals Home Step Icons
 Counting wand (optional)
Steps of the activity
The activity steps icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps. They’re also a helpful scaffold for children!
Find a sample script for teachers to use here.
Step 1
Child 1 rolls the number cube and tells how many are on it.Step 2
Child 1 counts out that many counters from the bowl and puts them on the plate.Step 3
Child 1 asks Child 2, “Am I right?” Child 2 checks.Step 4
Child 1 puts the counters from the plate onto the game board, one per space.Step 5
Child 1 says how many total counters they have on the game board now and Child 2 confirms.Step 6
Plus/Minus cards are placed facedown and Child 1 selects one card.Step 7
Child 1 says how many total counters they have on the game board now and Child 2 confirms.Step 8
Children switch roles and play again.Step 1
Child 1 adds more counters to the board based on the number shown on the counting card.Step 1
Child 1 removes counters from the board based on the number shown on the counting card.Instructions
Instructions for introducing the activity to the Center.
Review the Activity  
Today, the Get the Animals Home game we’ve been playing together will be at [name] Center! 
Tell students that the activity will be in Centers to play on their own. We recommend playing the activity in Small Groups at least once before introducing it in Centers. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

You will have picture cards to help you remember how to play and to remind you whether you are the roller and counter or the checker. 
Display the activity step icons and role cards. 
Time to Play!  
Let’s remind ourselves how to play the game! 
Review the steps of the activity while referencing the activity step icons and role cards. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity
What to do next
Keep playing this activity in Centers throughout the year. Students who played the Roll, Count, & Land version may switch to the Plus & Minus version once they’ve been introduced to it in Small Group and can create and count sets of up to 10 objects using onetoone correspondence. Do some students need more support or more challenge? Try the adaptations provided above for Centers.