Friday, October 4, 2013

Two Games for Making Ten

In my continued pursuit of working on basic math facts with the moose- I've taken to inventing some games.  Or, adapting them from things I've seen, I guess.

I know that part of my kids' county math assessment is to be able to fill in the missing part of an equation that makes ten.  So we've been practicing "What's Missing?".  You can play with either number cards or ten-sided die.  I also give them whiteboards for this game.  They play in a group of four during math workshop.  But you can also play whole group if you want to take a quick visual assessment.  Our rule for writing on whiteboards and then revealing an answer later is "write it and hide it!".  They make sure to keep their answer secret this way until they are told it's time to reveal.

First player draws a number card or rolls the die and announces the number and says, "What's Missing? Write it and hide it!"  Everyone, including the player write the missing part of the equation to make ten.  Then the player says "Shoooooow me (insert number)" and everyone flips their boards around.  We do a straight up Price is Right voice for the show me part.  If there are different numbers represented, each different number has to explain why they picked what they did.  The whole group comes to a consensus and then they do the equation with the gestures I showed in a video on this previous post.

This game worked well enough for kids that have a pretty good grasp of the concept anyway, and love whiteboards.  But I have some kids that really, really, no I mean really, need a concrete representation.

So I thought about those games where we race to thirty and to one hundred and all that and thought about trying to make it into a race to ten.  But I also didn't want the game to be over in a heart beat.  So, for this game you use connecting cubes or unifix cubes, and number cards or a die ten. We played in groups of three or four, but you can easily play this as partners.

To play, in the first round each player rolls the die ten and takes that many cubes of the same color. If you roll a zero, you miss your turn.  If you have the number cards, take the zeroes and tens out.

There will not be a winner in the first round.  The task really begins in the second and consecutive rounds when they continue to roll the die or draw the cards.  They can only add to their tower IF they roll the exact number needed to make ten.  If they DON'T roll or draw the exact number, then they have to start a new tower.  If they DO roll or draw the exact number, then they finish the tower in a second color, so they can see the two numbers and then do the gestures for the equation.

You can see here how this lucky moose was able to finish her equation or tower of ten and win that particular round.  However, none of the other players loose any of the towers they've begun to build.  So there comes a point where there is the potential for another winner each round.

Now, this little moose has gone three rounds without a finished tower. Another way to make this game more challenging is for the player to say what they HAVE to roll to finish a tower. My guy told his group that he would win IF he rolled a 1 or a 7 - but any other number would begin a new tower.  Note his grand moment of disappointment at rolling a 2.

The game goes for as long as you want.  At the end of time, the winner is the person with the most completed towers of ten.  My kids play for fifteen minutes and then move to another workshop. In this picture, four people they had gone six rounds, and you can see that one player has made a tower of ten.

My moose really enjoy games that are slightly competitive- but also based on chance, so that the winner is not determined purely on skill.  I like this game for workshop, and I think it is definitely adaptable for greater numbers, but I'd like to add a bit of accountability into it as well.  I can make a simple sheet with columns of ten boxes that they color in two colors to represent the equations they made during the game.  That should do nicely.

What sorts of games are you making up in your classroom for your kids?

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