Daily Schedule

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Math Game to Practice Basic Skills

Practice and drill to increase confidence and competence in basic operations are not usually a child's favorite thing to do. In math class, I do much of this needed practice in the form of games. Here is one the kids have played a couple of times this week, and really enjoyed. If you ask them to teach you, I'm sure they would love to!

This is a great game because it is so flexible - even very advanced math students and adults can enjoy it by challenging themselves to use as many operations as possible to collect the most cards.

I have special decks of cards that go from 0 to 20, but you can certainly use a standard deck. Here are the directions: if they seem confusing and your child can't help you, see me and I'll teach you in a minute.


Materials: 4 cards each of numbers Ace-10, and 1 card of Jack (11), Queen (12) and King (13). If you have Jokers, they can be 0.

Number of Players: 2 - 4

A player shuffles the deck and places five cards face-up on the playing surface. This player leaves the rest of the deck facedown and then turns over and lays down the top card from the deck. The number on this card is the number to be named.

In turn, players try to (re)name the number on the set-apart top card by adding or subtracting (multiplying and/or dividing for those ready) the numbers on two or more of the five face-up cards.

A successful player takes the face-up cards used and the number-named top card. A successful player also replaces cards by drawing from the top of the facedown deck. Unsuccessful players lose their turns. But they turn over and lay down the top card from the facedown deck, and the number on this card becomes the new number to be named.

Play continues until all facedown cards have been turned over. The player who has taken the most cards at the end wins.

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