KinderGals: Number Games

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Number Games

According to Marcia Tayte, playing games is one of the 20 strategies that produce dendrites.  Dendrites are connections in the brain. When we grow dendrites we grow brain power!  This is huge! It means...not only will the children be more successful in learning the intended content in the game, BUT they also grow brain power--dendrites. Brain power makes it easier for them to be successful in future learning! How cool is that! Needless to say, we love games! This post has some of our favorite games for teaching number concepts.
Who Has More?
In my childhood, we played a game called "war". Some people might have called it "battle". But, in that game, more was always the winner. We want kids to know that more doesn't mean win and less mean lose.  This game follows the rules of my childhood game, except for who wins!
Here's How To Play:
1. Collect the More/Less Game Board and a set of cards. Turn the cards face down in a pile.
2. Children play with a partner. Each player selects a card from the face down pile.
3. They compare the quantity on their cards.
4. Each player puts their card on the game board according to who has more and who has less.
5. The player with "less", spins the spinner. If it lands on "less", he get both cards. If it lands on more, the other player gets the cards.
Things to Think About:
1. I can play this game, like all of the other games in this post, all year by changing the clip art. The children think they are playing a new game, but there is no time wasted teaching new rules.
2. I can easily differentiate this game.  One way would be have to children compare numerals instead of sets of pumpkins.  Or,  invite children to draw two cards. Add the sets together and compare the sums.  You can do the same thing for subtraction. Now, regardless as to where my children are in their development of number sense, I can play the same game!

Let's Take Turns
Another game we like to play is called Let's Take Turns.  This game is super simple!
To Play:
1. Create a game board with a strip of clip art. Place a different clip art image on the center square.
2. Children play the game with a partner. Each partner sits at one end of the strip.
3. Put a game piece on the center square. The first player rolls the dice and moves the game piece that many spaces towards them. 
4. The second player rolls the dice.  Using the same game piece, they move it that many spaces towards them.
5. The same game pieces moves back and forth on the game board until it finally comes off of one end.
Things to Think About:
1. In this game, the dice is the "standard generator". In this case, the children are using a dot dice. They are developing an instant recognition of a set of dots--subitizing.
2. I could give them a numeral dice and they would be working on numeral recognition.
3. I could give them two dice to either add or subtract.
4. I could give them a dot dice and another teacher made dice with either +1 or -1 on each side. The child would roll both dice and determine the answer to the equation they generated.
Roll, Count, Compare
Roll, Count, Compare is another easily adaptable game. We can change clip art to play the game all year, and we can easily change our standard!
To Play:
1. The children play with a partner.
2. Each child selects one color of linking cubes.
3. The first player rolls the dice and counts that many cubes and places them on any square on the game board.
4. The second play rolls the dice and counts that many cubes and places them on any square on the game board.
5. Play continues until the game board is full.
6. The children make groups of 10's using their cubes.
7. Each child determines how many cubes they have.
8. They place their cubes on the more/less game board.
9. The child with less spins the spinner. If it lands on less, he wins. If it lands on more, the other player wins.
Things to Think About:
1. In this game, the dice is the "standard generator". The dice could be used like any of the examples above.
2. To make the game easier, reduce the number of squares on the game board. This will allow for comparing of sets with fewer cubes than the example.
Number Line Races
Number Line Races is a great strategy game.  To Play:
1. Collect a number line. The one I am using is 1-20, but you could also play on a number line 1-10.
2. Place clip art or other small trinkets on each of the numerals. 
3. Collect a game piece and a dice.
4. The child rolls the dice and moves the game piece (farmer) that many spaces down the number line. In this example, he rolled a 3. When the farmer lands on the 3, remove the clip art or trinket on that numeral.
5. The child rolls again, she rolled another 3. The player must decide it they want to move forward or backwards on the game board.
6. The object is to remove all of the clip art or trinkets from the number line.
Things to Think About:
1. In this game, the children are practicing mixed operations. They are moving from addition to subtraction depending on the direction they move on the number line.
2. Children become strategic players to gain more of the clip art or trinkets.
3. If you want to take this activity to the abstract level, invite the children to record their equations after each roll.
Let's Share
While we often think of division as being too difficult for kinders, we are all wrong! One thing kids hear from their parents and teachers--"go share this with ___".  Here's how to play this game:
1. Collect a game board divided into equal sections, clip art images, and a dice.  You will want the dice to have multiples for how many sections are on the game board.
2. The child rolls the dice and counts out that many clip art images (flowers).
3. The child divides the flowers between the four moms on the game board.
4. They record their answer on the recording sheet to show how many flowers each mother got.
Things to Think About:
1. The number of spaces on the game board can change. We could have divided between 2, 3 or 4 moms. 
2. Once the children are comfortable with this, program the dice so that not every side is a fair share!
All of these games are in the Number Game Bundle.
I have also put our math game bundle on sale. These are the same games but DIFFERENT themes! You can own both bundles, have more games, and spend less time teaching rules!

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