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November 11, 2015

Partnering With Parents: Common Core State Standards Math Games

By Amanda Nehring
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    Fall means parent-teacher conference time. In my last post we looked at resources and activities for you to share with parents all about reading. This week, as promised, let’s explore some math games that you can use in your classroom and that you can recommend to parents for practice and playtime at home. I’ve broken down the games by the mathematical domains of the Common Core State Standards, so hopefully you will be able to find something that meets the needs of any and all students in your classroom and your family.

     

    Counting and Cardinality

    This CCSS domain is really the foundation of mathematical number sense. In Counting & Cardinality students are expected to be able to identify the names of numbers, compare numbers, and count physical objects and general sequences. When students are first learning number sense it is best to play with numbers and their relationships to one another.

    I have found that a good old game of War with cards is both a fun and practical way to help students gain a better understanding of numbers. To play War you only need a deck of playing cards. Shuffle the deck, remove aces and face cards, and give each player an equal number of cards. The cards should be left in a pile face down in front of each player. You and your student should both flip over your top card at the same time in order to compare the cards. Here’s where the fun and flexibility of the game comes in. You can choose ahead of time what you will consider a winning card: Should the player with the higher card win? Should the player with the lower card win? You can even have three people play together and have the person with the number in the middle win.

    However you choose to play War, keep flipping over your cards in synchrony and have the person with the winning card take both cards and place them in a discard pile. When you have gone through your entire deck of cards you can either choose to reshuffle all of the cards in your possession and continue playing or choose to stop play and award the title of champion to whomever has the most cards in their discard pile.

    These games of War are a great way to practice number skills because they are simple, fun, and can be played anywhere. Suggest that parents keep a deck of cards with them in the car or in mom’s purse so that they can even play when they are out and about with some time to kill.

     

    Operations & Algebraic Thinking With Playing Cards

    The domain of Operations & Algebraic Thinking begins at the early grade levels as a study of addition and subtraction, working its way through multiplication and division by fifth grade. Here are some game ideas for practicing these four foundational mathematical operations using playing cards:

    • Use the numbered playing cards (2-10) to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. You can start off with just two cards or you can use more cards to practice math facts with two or three digit numbers. For practice with all four mathematical operations as well as comparing and ordering numbers, try my Playing Cards Game Board. You can print it out to use in your classroom and even send it home with parents to play at home. 

    Operations & Algebraic Thinking with Playing Cards

    • Many teachers send home flashcards for students to practice their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts, but that doesn’t mean that the traditional drill method is the only way to use them! My favorite flashcard game is called Flyswatter. To play, go through your student’s flashcards ahead of time and write down all of the answers on sticky notes. Post the sticky notes on the wall and hand the student a flyswatter. As you read the child a math fact flashcard, they must hunt for the answer on the posted sticky notes. When the student finds the correct answer they hit it with the flyswatter and earn a point. If they hit an incorrect answer, the flashcard gets placed back in the pile to be practiced again later in the game. You can even play this game in your classroom by dividing your class into two groups and having two students from each team play against each other. In this situation the first student to correctly swat the answer to the flashcard problem would win a point for their team. I play this game all of the time with my students and they absolutely love it!

    Flyswatter Game

     

    Numbers & Operations in Base Ten With Dice

    The Numbers & Operations in Base Ten domain asks that students be able to understand that all numbers, whether single or multi-digit, represent given quantities and have place value. Dice are great tools for practicing place value, but since they only contain the numbers one through six, I made a set of ten-sided dice for games. There is a die for ones, tens, and hundreds, so you can play no matter what your student’s level. Here are some ideas for games to play with dice:

    • Roll dice twice and add, subtract, multiply or divide the two numbers.

    • Roll the dice multiple times to create addition sentences with multiple addends.

    • Roll the dice twice and compare the numbers using the terms and symbols greater than >, less than <, and equal to =.

    • Roll one of each of my place value dice and make a three-digit number. Then, using my Numbers & Operations in Base Ten game page, have the child draw place value blocks, write the number out in written form and expanded form, and sequence the number by showing what comes before and after. Make sure to laminate the page or place it in a sheet protector so the child can use dry erase marker to play the game over and over again.

    Numbers & Operations in Base Ten Dice Game

     

    Measurement & Data With Time and Money

    This CCSS domain is multifaceted. Students must be able to measure length, tell time, count money, and graph data. In order to meet all the components of the standards, try playing these three games using money as your game pieces.

    Playing With Length

    • Measure objects (shoes, pencils, tables, etc.) using money. How many pennies does my shoe measure? How many dollars long is our table?

    • Have students compare the lengths of objects using different coins and bills. Help them see that a notebook, for example, will measure more quarters long than it does dollars, since quarters are shorter than dollar bills.

    Measuring with Money

    Telling Time

    • Place twelve nickels around the outside of a plate to represent each number on a clock. Have the child write the numbers next to each nickel to show the hour. Discuss how you are using nickels because each number on a clock also represents five minutes and a nickel is worth five cents. Practice showing different times on the clock using crayons as the hands.

    Telling Time with Coins

    Graphing Money

    • Empty out a change purse or coin jar. Have the child graph the coins in their collection on my Graphing Data with Coins game page. Add the total value of each column of coins to practice counting coins. Add the total value of the whole graph to find the value of the coin collection.

    Graphing Coins

     

    Geometry With Printables

    Geometry can be as simple as recognizing and working with shapes or as complicated as fractions of figures depending on the level of the child. To practice the geometric domain of the CCSS, try using these free printables from Scholastic:

    Still looking for more math games? Check out fellow blogger Lindsey Petlak’s post "Hooray for Hands-On Math Games!"

    And to thank you for reading this and my other blog posts, I am pleased to offer you this savings coupon from the Scholastic Store. I hope you enjoy!

     

    Fall means parent-teacher conference time. In my last post we looked at resources and activities for you to share with parents all about reading. This week, as promised, let’s explore some math games that you can use in your classroom and that you can recommend to parents for practice and playtime at home. I’ve broken down the games by the mathematical domains of the Common Core State Standards, so hopefully you will be able to find something that meets the needs of any and all students in your classroom and your family.

     

    Counting and Cardinality

    This CCSS domain is really the foundation of mathematical number sense. In Counting & Cardinality students are expected to be able to identify the names of numbers, compare numbers, and count physical objects and general sequences. When students are first learning number sense it is best to play with numbers and their relationships to one another.

    I have found that a good old game of War with cards is both a fun and practical way to help students gain a better understanding of numbers. To play War you only need a deck of playing cards. Shuffle the deck, remove aces and face cards, and give each player an equal number of cards. The cards should be left in a pile face down in front of each player. You and your student should both flip over your top card at the same time in order to compare the cards. Here’s where the fun and flexibility of the game comes in. You can choose ahead of time what you will consider a winning card: Should the player with the higher card win? Should the player with the lower card win? You can even have three people play together and have the person with the number in the middle win.

    However you choose to play War, keep flipping over your cards in synchrony and have the person with the winning card take both cards and place them in a discard pile. When you have gone through your entire deck of cards you can either choose to reshuffle all of the cards in your possession and continue playing or choose to stop play and award the title of champion to whomever has the most cards in their discard pile.

    These games of War are a great way to practice number skills because they are simple, fun, and can be played anywhere. Suggest that parents keep a deck of cards with them in the car or in mom’s purse so that they can even play when they are out and about with some time to kill.

     

    Operations & Algebraic Thinking With Playing Cards

    The domain of Operations & Algebraic Thinking begins at the early grade levels as a study of addition and subtraction, working its way through multiplication and division by fifth grade. Here are some game ideas for practicing these four foundational mathematical operations using playing cards:

    • Use the numbered playing cards (2-10) to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. You can start off with just two cards or you can use more cards to practice math facts with two or three digit numbers. For practice with all four mathematical operations as well as comparing and ordering numbers, try my Playing Cards Game Board. You can print it out to use in your classroom and even send it home with parents to play at home. 

    Operations & Algebraic Thinking with Playing Cards

    • Many teachers send home flashcards for students to practice their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts, but that doesn’t mean that the traditional drill method is the only way to use them! My favorite flashcard game is called Flyswatter. To play, go through your student’s flashcards ahead of time and write down all of the answers on sticky notes. Post the sticky notes on the wall and hand the student a flyswatter. As you read the child a math fact flashcard, they must hunt for the answer on the posted sticky notes. When the student finds the correct answer they hit it with the flyswatter and earn a point. If they hit an incorrect answer, the flashcard gets placed back in the pile to be practiced again later in the game. You can even play this game in your classroom by dividing your class into two groups and having two students from each team play against each other. In this situation the first student to correctly swat the answer to the flashcard problem would win a point for their team. I play this game all of the time with my students and they absolutely love it!

    Flyswatter Game

     

    Numbers & Operations in Base Ten With Dice

    The Numbers & Operations in Base Ten domain asks that students be able to understand that all numbers, whether single or multi-digit, represent given quantities and have place value. Dice are great tools for practicing place value, but since they only contain the numbers one through six, I made a set of ten-sided dice for games. There is a die for ones, tens, and hundreds, so you can play no matter what your student’s level. Here are some ideas for games to play with dice:

    • Roll dice twice and add, subtract, multiply or divide the two numbers.

    • Roll the dice multiple times to create addition sentences with multiple addends.

    • Roll the dice twice and compare the numbers using the terms and symbols greater than >, less than <, and equal to =.

    • Roll one of each of my place value dice and make a three-digit number. Then, using my Numbers & Operations in Base Ten game page, have the child draw place value blocks, write the number out in written form and expanded form, and sequence the number by showing what comes before and after. Make sure to laminate the page or place it in a sheet protector so the child can use dry erase marker to play the game over and over again.

    Numbers & Operations in Base Ten Dice Game

     

    Measurement & Data With Time and Money

    This CCSS domain is multifaceted. Students must be able to measure length, tell time, count money, and graph data. In order to meet all the components of the standards, try playing these three games using money as your game pieces.

    Playing With Length

    • Measure objects (shoes, pencils, tables, etc.) using money. How many pennies does my shoe measure? How many dollars long is our table?

    • Have students compare the lengths of objects using different coins and bills. Help them see that a notebook, for example, will measure more quarters long than it does dollars, since quarters are shorter than dollar bills.

    Measuring with Money

    Telling Time

    • Place twelve nickels around the outside of a plate to represent each number on a clock. Have the child write the numbers next to each nickel to show the hour. Discuss how you are using nickels because each number on a clock also represents five minutes and a nickel is worth five cents. Practice showing different times on the clock using crayons as the hands.

    Telling Time with Coins

    Graphing Money

    • Empty out a change purse or coin jar. Have the child graph the coins in their collection on my Graphing Data with Coins game page. Add the total value of each column of coins to practice counting coins. Add the total value of the whole graph to find the value of the coin collection.

    Graphing Coins

     

    Geometry With Printables

    Geometry can be as simple as recognizing and working with shapes or as complicated as fractions of figures depending on the level of the child. To practice the geometric domain of the CCSS, try using these free printables from Scholastic:

    Still looking for more math games? Check out fellow blogger Lindsey Petlak’s post "Hooray for Hands-On Math Games!"

    And to thank you for reading this and my other blog posts, I am pleased to offer you this savings coupon from the Scholastic Store. I hope you enjoy!

     

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