Snowman Math Races

I posted about our snowman math races two years ago, but I think this is one of those posts that should be recycled! These races are easy and quick and don't cost you a penny!

December means it's time for snowman math races! Snowman math races are a big hit in my classroom. We use addition wheels to practice our facts and turn it into a race. If you aren't familiar with them Here's how they work:  Draw a donut shape and place numbers around the inside. Then place another number in the center. Students line up and take turn adding the number inside the donut hole with the center number. They place their answer outside the circle.
 After a student writes down an answer they pass their expo marker to the person behind them and go to the end of the line. Now, if I have a student writes down an incorrect answer someone else in the line has to fix it. They simply cross off the wrong answer and write the correct answer next to it. When we race I usually have just three or four students in a line. Students are NOT allowed to whisper or call out an answer OR let another student know their answer was wrong. As soon as all of the answers are written down and correct that group wins. I don't write the same numbers in each wheel when we race because I don't want anyone sneaking a peek at the other team's answers. It's a great way to get students to practice addition facts.

Snowman math races are easy and quick and great for indoor recess, end of the day, brain break, or as a competition with other classes. (OH YEAH!) I've also used them for finding the missing addend. If you're an upper grade you could do multiplication wheels. 

Here are some pictures from my snowman addition wheels from a couple of years ago.

*notice the wrong answer!

*If you don't have a whiteboard you can laminate some butcher paper or poster paper and cut out your wheel and use dry erase markers to write. 

To help my kiddos understand how to do addition math wheels I use wheels from this product. Students quickly understand and your students who are still struggling with their facts get some extra practice. I usually incorporate some of these into our math stations too. My struggling students will take wheels home for homework all month.

This pack as well as everything else in my store will be on sale for Cyber Monday!

(Totes adorbs button created by Creative Clips)

I hope you all had a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


  1. Thanks for the great post. I am always looking for ways to make math fun and I know this snowman math race will be a hit with my firsties.

  2. Thanks for this fun game. I can't wait to use this.

  3. Thanks for re-posting the Snowman Races, I think I may have pinned it last time, but I had forgotten about it. It's such a terrific idea! Thanks for sharing!
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  4. Oh, totally awesome. I am doing these tomorrow!!! What fun!


  5. That's such a cool idea, Jennifer. Thanks!

  6. I did the multiplication version of this with my third graders yesterday and they LOVED it! Thanks!