Math Game Monday: Jenna’s Skip-Counting Game

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children.

And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

This game is a great way to build mental math and strategic thinking skills with students of all ages.

“Jenna Laib’s Skip-Counting Game” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from 312 Things To Do with a Math Journal, which is available for a limited-time preorder through the Playful Math Journaling Kickstarter. Discover how to help your children enjoy learning math through the richly creative exploration of numbers, shapes, and patterns.

Jenna Laib’s Skip-Counting Game

Math Concepts: addition, skip-counting, multiplication, mental math, strategic thinking.

Players: two or more.

Equipment: none. Pencil and paper (or whiteboard and markers) are optional

How to Play

Agree on:

  • a number to skip-count by
  • a starting point
  • a target number

For example, “Count by 3s from 11 to 47.”

Each player in turn chooses to say (or write) one, two, or three skips of the counting-by number.

For example, the first player may say “11, 14.” The second player might add “17,” and then the next move could be “20, 23, 26.” And so on.

The player who reaches or passes the target number wins.

Variations

Extra challenge: Skip-count by a fraction, decimal, or negative number.

You can even count by algebraic expressions: 3x − 1/3, 6x − 2/3, 9x − 3/3, etc.

History

This game is part of Jenna Laib’s “Simple-but-High-Leverage Game Collection.”

Games aren’t just about “practice” and fluency. My favorite games create opportunities for learning, too. They spark discourse, promote the use of strategies, and allow students to dig into the mathematics.

Jenna Laib, The Simple-but-High-Leverage Game Collection: Making Games Routine

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