Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Building Number Sense with the Number Line Mystery Game

Developing number sense is the key to success in Math!  In this blog post I share a fun number line game that our kids absolutely love to play! All you need is a deck of cards!
To prepare for the number line mystery game:
  • Remove the "queens, jacks and kings" from the deck of cards.
  • Lay the 4 "kings" in a vertical line. Discard the queens and jacks.
  • Shuffle the remaining cards.
  • Make a horizontal line of 10 cards, facedown, beside each of the kings.
To play:
  • Invite one child to turn over any of the facedown cards.
  • First, decide which suit it belongs to. Is it a spade, a club, a heart or a diamond?
  • Go to the row with the king of the matching suit.
  • What numeral is on the card? Move down that many spaces.
  • Remove the card laying in the space and put your card IN that space.
  • Look at the new card.
  • Where does it go?
  • Repeat until all of the cards are turned over.
Great game, right?  First problem, the kids get tired of that same deck of cards!  Second problem, the children are only working on ordering the numeral, not concepts of number. Here's what I did about those problems. I took the same game rules and created more games. I created different decks of themed cards that we could use all year long. I made the different decks of themed cards use different tools to develop number sense.  Here are some of them:
Back to School Number Line Mystery
This back to school number line mystery game using numerals, like a traditional set of cards. After putting the numeral 8 glue bottle in it's spot, we removed the numeral 9 scissors from that spot. Now, the children must discover where the numeral 9 scissors card will go.  Ask them, "How did you know?" Be sure to allow children the opportunity to share their thinking.
Valentine's Number Line Mystery
To play the valentine's number line mystery, the children look at the set of hands on the card. They decide how many fingers they see. After turning over the first card, the children found a picture of a heart with one finger up. That means, the card is placed on the heart row in the first place. They removed the cupcake card that was facedown in that space. Now they must decide where the cupcake belongs by looking at how many fingers they see.
Bugs Number Line Mystery
To play the bugs number line mystery, the children look at the dominoes on the card. Each time, the game follows the same rule. This is what makes the game so great! You can change the standard, change the theme, but the rules are the same. No time is wasted learning rules...all the time is spent learning the standard.
Exercisers Number Line Mystery
To play the exercisers number line mystery game, the children are sequencing sets of tally marks.  This picture show the children playing the game by sequencing sets 1-10.  However, you can play with 4 rows of 20 cards face down and sequence the numbers 1-20. Or, you can use just the 11-20 cards and play just that section of the number line.
What's in the Sky? Number Line Mystery Game
To play the What's in the Sky? number line mystery game, the children are discovering the number pattern using number bonds.
I made 6 different sets. Each set has different themes and different ways to represent the number. 
All of these can be found in the Number Line Mystery Bundle.
 This game worked great as a teacher directed activity. When I tried to put it as a center, it flopped because the kids couldn't get the cards lined up. I made this board on bulletin board paper so that the kids could lay the cards on the squares. Now they can play it as a center activity, too!
You can grab the letters to make the title as a free file below.


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