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Online programs like DreamBox have revolutionized how K-8 students not only learn math, but discover how engaging it can be for them. Once that spark of delight and accomplishment is ignited, why not immerse in math through play wherever you are, even if there’s not a computer around. Got a 52-card deck or a pair of dice? You’re in business and ready to add, multiply, build memory skills, and have a blast with friends, family, and classmates.
Here are new math-learning takes on a classic card game, which are great for the classroom or the kitchen table at home. In Addition War, two students each have their own deck of cards. Assign numerical values to all the royal cards––Ace is worth one, Jack is 11, Queen is 12, and King is 13.
You can vary the rules of the game depending on kids’ ages and the skills they’re working on. Grades 2-4 students could each flip two cards from their deck, then subtract the lower number from the higher one. Whoever has the “highest hand”, or the highest number after the subtractions, wins all four cards. Older students could multiply the cards, and even practice assigning negative integers to, say, all cards in the Clubs suit.
Check out this page for more math games you can play with just a deck of cards.
And here are even more math card games!
MATH FACTS BINGO
Here’s a game that could be fun for players in grades 3 to 6. Make a set of “bingo cards” that each have the answer to a multiplication question. List all the answers on a piece of paper. Deal the whole deck out to the participants, who are ready with a sheet for calculations, pen in hand. To begin play, the bingo “caller” states an equation, like 5 x 9. Players calculate the answer on their paper––in this case, they’ll come up with the multiplication product of 45. Then, they go through their decks to see if they have that card. If they do, they win 10 points.
Pick up a pair of dice and put muscle into your memory skills with a game called Pig. The first player rolls, then silently adds up the sum of the two dice. He or she can roll the dice as many times as they like, each time adding the new sum to the one they already have. When they’re done rolling, they write down the total sum. Then, the second player takes a turn. If a player ever rolls a one, their turn is over for that round. The first player to reach 100 points wins.
For this one, you’ll need three or even four dice. After rolling, you arrange the dice to make the largest number you can. For example, a player might roll a three, a four and a six. They reorganize them into as many combinations as they can uncover, such as 346, 436, 634, and more. Then, that player says to the next player, “Can you beat that?” Now, it’s their turn to roll the dice and take up the number ordering challenge.
Want to know how to play Math Baseball, Math Tic-Tac-Toe, Stand Up–Sit Down, and tons of other offline games that make math fun? Find out here!