“The Nickel Game” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from 70+ Things To Do with a Hundred Chart, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.
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 logic game will get your elementary students thinking about numbers and strategy.
The Nickel Game
Math Concepts: counting larger numbers, less-than and greater-than, logical thinking.
Players: two players or two teams.
Equipment: your choice of printed hundred chart (optional), or players may work mentally after agreeing on the range of numbers allowed.
“Journaling Prompt #267 Number Pyramid” is an excerpt from Task Cards Book #6, available as a digital printable activity guide at my bookstore. Read more about my playful math books here.
Do you want your children to develop the ability to reason creatively and figure out things on their own?
Help kids practice slowing down and taking the time to fully comprehend a math topic or problem-solving situation with these classic tools of learning: See. Wonder. Create.
See: Look carefully at the details of the numbers, shapes, or patterns you see. What are their attributes? How do they relate to each other? Also notice the details of your own mathematical thinking. How do you respond to a tough problem? Which responses are most helpful? Where did you get confused, or what makes you feel discouraged?
Wonder: Ask the journalist’s questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how? Who might need to know about this topic? Where might we see it in the real world? When would things happen this way? What other way might they happen? Why? What if we changed the situation? How might we change it? What would happen then? How might we figure it out?
Create: Create a description, summary, or explanation of what you learned. Make your own related math puzzle, problem, art, poetry, story, game, etc. Or create something totally unrelated, whatever idea may have sparked in your mind.
Math journaling may seem to focus on this third tool, creation. But even with artistic design prompts, we need the first two tools because they lay a solid groundwork to support the child’s imagination.
This game offers students in upper-elementary and beyond plenty of practice with mental math and the order of operations.
“Operations” is an excerpt from Prealgebra & Geometry: Math Games for Middle School, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.
The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the Topic Tag links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!
Math Concepts: addition, subtraction, place value to six or seven digits. Players: two or more. Equipment: pencil and paper.
Each player needs a sheet of blank or lined paper, and a pencil.
At the top of your page, write a 6-digit number. All the digits must be different, and none of them can be zero.
How to Play
On your turn, you go fishing for points. Ask one other player, “Give me your _____’s.” The blank is for the single-digit number of your choice.
The other player answers, “You get _____.” This blank is for the value of that digit in the other player’s number.
For example, suppose you asked for 5’s. If the other player has a 5 in the tens place of his number, you get 50 points. But if 5 was in the ten-thousands place, you would get 50,000. And if there is no 5 at all, you get zero.
You add those points to your number. The other player subtracts the points from his number.
Then it’s the next player’s turn to go fishing.
Notice These Rules
Your number may change with each turn (except when you get zero). Always use your most recent number to add or subtract the fishing points.
If you have more than one of the digit asked for (like the player on the left above, who has two 7’s), you may choose which one to give away. That is, you can give the other player 70 points and not even mention the 7,000.
Keep taking turns until every player gets five chances to fish for points. After five rounds, whoever has the highest score wins the game.
UNLESS the winner made an arithmetic error.
Be sure to check each other’s math, because any player who makes a mistake automatically loses the game.
Share the Fun
If you try this math game with your kids, I’d love to hear how it goes. Please drop a comment below.
And tell us about your favorite math game, so we can all play that, too. 😀
CREDITS: This game comes from Michael Schiro’s book Mega-Fun Math Games: 70 Quick-and-Easy Games to Build Math Skills. Feature photo (top) by Ruben Ortega via Unsplash.
For easy printing, right-click to open the image above in a new tab.
Place the numbers from 1 to 6 into each row and column. None of the numbers may repeat in any row or column. Within the black “cages,” the numbers must add, subtract, multiply, or divide to give the answer shown.