A Little Math Game

Whew!  Two days back after April vacation and I'm already tired.  I forget how busy the day gets!  We are starting my favorite writing unit this week - all about fishing!!  We do two different kinds of writing - an informational "how to" piece and a narrative story.  I love this unit.  More on that later this week when we really get rolling...

For now I can share a quick math practice game we did today that my kiddos just LOVED!  It always amazes me how it's the simple things they most enjoy.  I can spend for.ev.er planning a lesson, including great activities, cute recording sheets, etc... and they'll have fun, but give them a game I modified on the spur-of-the-moment and I become the "best teacher ever!"  (Which, of course, I am, but let's not shout that too loudly...)

I needed a quick 15 minute filler for math today when things didn't go as planned (shocker for those of you not in the classroom... my day rarely goes exactly as planned.. ok, maybe never..).  My "go-to" game is a card game that I think comes from a math program somewhere, so rather than get myself in trouble for not having a license to say the word or something, I'll just call it "The Card Game."  Students pay in partners with a deck of cards (which are pretty easy to come by when you live in a state with two casinos near-by).  The first person takes 2 cards and adds them together.  The next person takes 2 cards and adds them together and the person with the highest total gets to keep all 4 cards.  Play continues until all the cards are used, then you count up who has the most cards to see who wins.  Sometimes I vary this by doing it with subtraction.  Not as fun for them... they do not like subtraction.

Anyway, we've been finishing up addition and subtraction with regrouping, which blessedly! - most of them have (finally).  This time I told them they each had to take 2 cards, make a 2-digit number, then take ANOTHER 2 cards and make a different number and add the 2 numbers together.  The player with the highest sum got to keep the cards. 

You would have thought I gave them the moon.... they were off to the races, having a grand time... and when someone asked if they could do 3-DIGIT numbers instead, of course, I said yes.  That's what you would expect from "the best teacher in the world!" 
Needless to say, this game got put in our centers for the week.  If you don't have cards, you could play with dice, or number cards, or a spinner... I'm always using games to review, practice and enrich.  I'd love to hear about a quick and easy math game you use in your classroom. 

1 comment

  1. I love your math games idea! I've been looking for something to add to my math area, and that looks simple yet effective! Thanks for sharing! I just found your blog from the TpT thread, and I'm so glad I did. So many great ideas! I'll be back. I'm your newest follower!

    :) Samantha
    Making Lemonade in Second Grade


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