Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why sometimes DIY is better than a printable, or, Making an easy mathgame

More math game making.  I'm actually starting to enjoy it, A LOT.  I also like buying premade games, I do- it does make things easier- but I want to be able to show my kids that they can easily make a game to play at home to practice their facts without having to buy something.  Which, for my kids, is just not in their families budgets.  My moose claim never to have played BUMP before.  Don't know if this is really true- but shoot- let's make sure to take care of that!

 Earlier in the day we had read Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong.  Folks, this is the greatest book evahhhhhh!  I will post on it's reading merits another day- but to get the gist here- anything they put into this magic pot they got double.  So it's a great book for beginning the concept of doubles facts.  I found out about the book from our previous math curriculum Investigations. All I did on the fly was pull out some great big sheets of construction paper.  I looooooove huge sheets of construction paper. And then made designs and pictures and wrote the numbers (evens only) 2 through 20.  We used our number cards without zeroes and wild cards to play.

We played in groups of four- it's just more exciting with four- but you can play as partners, or as a triad.  Players in turn draw a number and double it, then place a connecting cube or unifix cube on the number on the board.  The nice thing about the number cards from the Investigations series is that they have a pictorial representation of the number beneath the numeral- and the kids can use that to help them find the double if they aren't sure.  But I also showed them how to use their fingers and count up to find the answer as well.

Anybody else have kids that REFUSE to try using their fingers or adding up pictures to make sure they have the right answer?  They just want to guess?  I don't get that...anyway, moving on.

I put the rule in that they have to try to cover up all twenty spots on the board before they "bump" somebody.  They can only bump if they are forced to up to that point.  They are free to claim a spot by putting a second piece on top though if they have the luck.  Once all the spots have been covered- then they can start being ruthless with bumping if they prefer.  But we do play together a few times so they see the point in claiming a space as a strategy to winning instead of just going crazy with the bumping.

Aside from teaching them the idea of bump- I also showed how easy it is to set up a gameboard.  Something they could easily do at home by grabbing a piece of paper. (Although I did have a few insist that they had NO PAPER in their homes, and I actually believe them, so we're going to have a game board making session here soon in the classroom.)  They gasped, and made sounds of delight as I quickly squiggled up some shapes on the paper.

These boys wanted a board with snakes on it.

These girls were gaga for hearts.

Not my loveliest. 
I'll be redoing this one- but I suddenly had brain freeze on this one
as I realized I had to quickly make five.

Fish and Bubbles

Paw Prints

I plan on making nicer ones for a more permanent place in math workshop- but getting them excited about making their own by creating these quick ones was really priceless. Now they want to make their own, and undoubtedly will want to play it at home more than they would ever want to play something I just ran off and slipped in their homework folders.

What do you do to help with student buy-in?
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  1. I love that you let them make their own boards. Ownership is so important, plus I always like them to be doing more of the work than me:)
    Barbara @
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  2. Hello there! I stumbled across your blog from the 2nd grade list over at Caffeine and Lesson Plans and am so glad that I did. I am a 2nd grade teacher from Minnesota and I am going to definitely benefit from some of the information that you are sharing on your blog posts. I love that you have your kids make their own game boards. How motivating for them! I look forward to reading more on here as the year goes along!
    Mrs. Olson’s Lucky Little Learners

  3. Where are you?! I'm missing your posts.


  4. Where are you?! I'm missing your posts.


  5. I fell off the face of the earth, apparently. Sorry. I'm getting ready to get back to posting this week- maybe even today! *fingers crossed* Thanks for thinking of me though.