Friday, June 11, 2010

Card Sharks [and Stealth Math Practice]

Friday, June 11, 2010
We are deep into cementing our basic math facts around here. Anna is wrapping up first grade and heading into multiple step addition and subtraction and Christopher is completing that, heading into multiplication. Without a solid grasp of math facts these tasks are no fun.

So, we do a little bit of obvious practice with fact family games and a touch of flash card drilling (but frankly we all tire of that). The kids have timed drills with Mad Dog Math which started in school. They are enthusiastic about being in the 1 minute (or 30 second) club. But again, knowing the basic math facts quickly is essential to moving through the stickers and getting to the next level.

I have taken to card games to drill, rather than flash cards (yawn). Our favorite game at the moment is WAR. It's simple and fast which is how the drills really play out. The kids don't realize they are drilling, they just want to beat mama!

So, it goes something like this.

Cards are divided evenly among players until they are gone. (We usually play one on one but some times add a third player.) Each player takes a card from the stack (without looking) and places the card down. The person with the highest card wins the trick. BUT, that person has to state the sum (or difference) of the values.

11 + 8 = 19 or 11 - 8 = 3
(This could also be translated to multiplication)

Card sharks

As the plot thickens and the tension builds, there is occasionally a match. That means there is a battle (If playing with Anna, we break out in song...."Battlefield, battlefield.....Better go and get your armor...." ala Jordin Sparks.). Three more cards are placed, face down. The fourth card is flipped and the high card takes the pot--AFTER announcing the sum or difference.

I have been known to flub a value or two, testing my opponent. If they catch me, they win my cards. All of which is on the down low. They just build confidence and wit in trying to beat out mama.

Cribbage and Black Jack are also fun stealth math games. I am sure we will hit those hard during our upcoming camping adventure.

1 comment:

180|360 said...

I've been playing War with my children ever since I read this. Another great tip! We will soon try adding and subtracting. Keep these ideas coming! :)