101 and Out! is a game that involves several math concepts - place value, coin values, strategic thinking, as well as mental computation of a running total. It also is just one of many quick, informal assessment tools that I can use.
The way it is played is simple, and easily done at home. You would need:
* a die
* a sheet for recording for each player - 7 boxes drawn on each, with the 7th marked "total"
* pile of 25 dimes and 50 pennies to share
Players take turns rolling the die and deciding which place value to assign the number rolled; after each roll, a player takes that number of pennies or dimes from the pile and records on his or her sheet the amount of money for the roll. The partners each take six turns rolling the die, and then find the total value of their coins. The winner of the game is the person who gets a total closest to 100 without going over. You need to roll ALL six times, which is where most of the strategy comes in.
We will be playing all week, and talking and writing about strategies.
As their teacher, my job is to link assessment and instruction. With this game, I need to notice the strategies each child is using, and whether they can communicate their strategies. Does their strategy for a particular die roll change depending on whether it is the beginning/middle/end of the game? Do students' strategies change with more experience?
I also need find out who is having trouble keeping a running total. Do students count on from their running total by tens, then ones, or solely by ones? Can they count back from one hundred, by tens, then ones? Do students need to keep counting coins each turn, or can they remember their last number? How do they organize their coins?
In other words, playing games like this is not only fun, but gives a teacher a wealth of information about developing skills and number sense.