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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Math Games

Now that you have gathered books for your child to read or listen to over break, you might be ready for some fun math games that will help your child practice basic addition and subtraction facts. Becoming fluent with these facts can't be overemphasized so please try out a few of these games. The only materials you will need are a deck of cards, two dice (swipe some temporarily from one of your board games), pennies, paper and pencils. You can also make up your own games or quiz your child on basic facts as you are driving around in your car. The more you play, the more fluent your child will be with the basic addition and subtraction facts. I passed out a paper copy of these games last night at conferences. If I missed you, please let me know and I will send you one.

Addition Top-It

The game is played with a deck of number cards, 4 cards for each number 0-9. (This can be a regular deck of cards with the face cards removed.) As many as four children can play, but at first, children should play the two-player game.

1. Shuffle the deck and place it on the desk with the cards face down.

2. At each turn, players turn over two cards, add the numbers together and call out the sum. Players should check each other's sums.

3. The player with the higher sum takes all the cards. In case of a tie, players turn over two more cards and call out the sum. The player with the higher sum takes all the cards from both plays.

4. Play continues until there are fewer than 4 cards left in the deck. The player who took more cards wins.

Subtraction Top-It

This game is played just like Addition Top-It except that instead of adding their cards together they subtract their two numbers. The player with the largest difference keeps the cards.

Tric Trac

Another fun game to practice basic addition facts is Tric Trac. Below are the directions and a picture of the game board. You can easily make your own game board just by writing the numbers out on a piece of paper.

Tric Trac

Materials Needed: 2 dice, 20 pennies, and a hand drawn game mat for each player

1. Cover the empty circles with pennies.
2. Take turns. When it is your turn:
  • Roll the dice. Find the total number of dots. This is your sum.
  • Move 1 or your pennies and cover your sum.
  • OR move 2 or more of your pennies and cover any numbers that can be added together to equal your sum.
3. Play continues until no more numbers can be covered on your gameboard. Your partner may continue playing even after you are finished.
4. The game is over when neither player can cover any more of the numbers on his or her gameboard.
5. Find the sum of your uncovered numbers. The player with the lower sum wins.

Tric Trac is also available as an app. You can find it here.

3, 2, 1 Game

Materials: 1 sheet of paper, 1 pencil for each player
Players: 2
Object of the game: To reach exactly 0

1. Write 21 at the top of the sheet of paper.
2. Players take turns. When it is your turn, subtract 1, 2, or 3 from the last number written on the paper.
3. The first player who subtracts and gets 0 as the answer wins the game.

Sums of Ten

Players: 1
What You Need:
  • Deck of playing cards (with the face cards removed)
What You Do:
  1. Place cards face up on a flat surface in a 4 x 4 array. Place the rest of the deck to the side.
  2. Scan the board for cards that add up to 10. Remove these cards, or card combinations, and place them in a discard pile.
  3. If there are no cards or combinations that add up to ten, refill the array with additional cards and see if there are any combinations of ten now.
  4. Keep adding cards until you can find a combination that adds up to ten.
  5. Remove cards until you can't find any more combinations.

Math Apps and Websites 
Hungry Fish is our favorite addition practice app on the iPad and Making Tens is our favorite computer website game. You can find Making Tens on the Resources page of our crew blog.

Race To 20

You need a partner. Take turns. On your turn, you may count one or two numbers. So the first person says: "1" or "1, 2." And the second person continues with one or two more numbers. The player who says "20" wins.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Play one of the games listed above.

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