Sunday, December 20, 2009

Last Snowman Standing Game

The snowmen face off in this game of addition facts. But beware! A toss of the die may mean the sun melts a snowman. Students practice addition facts as they try to be the last snowman standing because in this game the first person to remove all of his/her snowmen loses the game!

The snowmen pictured above were created with two wooden beads glued together, then painted white, The face was added with sharpie pens. Just be sure to buy the beads that have a flat bottom so that the snowmen will stand. Or, use any manipulative as snowmen.

Download the Last Snowman Standing Game which includes directions and game mats for three different versions of the game:
  • Sum of Two Dice Version to practice addition facts
  • Difference of Two Dice Version to practice subtraction facts
  • One Die Toss for a simplified version to analyze the probability of a die toss

Data Collection: The directions for each version also include directions for data collection and analysis of the outcomes of the games. Be sure to incorporate these activities, if at all possible, as games offer a highly motivational study in probability. Students love to "play games" to collect data. They're also eager to analyze games so that they learn how the game works and what strategies they can use to improve their odds of winning.

Differentiation: This game offers many opportunities to differentiate the activity. First of all, teachers are able to select from three different versions. Secondly, each teacher should differentiate the game analysis to meet the instructional level of his/her students. Most students can handle the questions with teacher guidance. Older students and talented primary students may be challenged to analyze the game and answer the questions in small groups.  

Friday, December 18, 2009

12 Days of Christmas

Each year PNC Bank calculates the cost of the gifts in this familiar Christmas carol.  Watch a short video that presents each gift and tells the percent increase or decrease for that gift each year.  Following this presentation, users may select from a number of games available on the site or view a graph of the annual cost index.

Investigate the math behind this holiday gifting by working through DIMACS The Twelve Days of Christmas and Pascal's Triangle.  Students who struggled to figure out the total number of gifts received will be astounded to discover that the patterns in Pascal's triangle may be used for an easy solution.

Students might also enjoy singing 12 Days of Math, a math teacher's parody of the famous carol. 

Print out pictures of the 12 Days Gifts for students to color and/or use as props when singing the song and discussing solutions to the problem of total gifts given in this holiday song.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Capture the Penguin Game

Students toss two dice (one regular and one A-F) in this fun game that introduces students to coordinate graphing in the spaces. Students form a coordinate pair based on the dice toss and capture a penguin, if possible. If the space holds a penguin, they capture the penguin for quick points. Create A-F dice using plain dice or purchase small wooden cubes at a craft store to make the dice.

The penguins shown in the picture were created by painting clothespins and clothespin stands, found at craft stores.

Download the Capture the Penguin Game, a PDF which includes directions, game mat, penguin markers and a recording sheet.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Math Activity Themes: Gingerbread Math

Gingerbread men and gingerbread houses enjoy special popularity around the holidays, but many of these gingerbread activities are timeless and complement literature titles that teachers use at the beginning of school or after the holidays. It's very easy to incorporate mathematics into a study of gingerbread men, and students will enjoy the data collection activities and games while learning math skills and deepening their understanding of important mathematical concepts.

Look through these Gingerbread Man Math activities and add some to your repertoire. Consider broadening the gingerbread math to include measurement, games and problem solving this year. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gingerbread Math Games

Counting Game:  Run, Gingerbread Man, Run

This game was designed to introduce students to the randomness of spinners and dice. Each color gingerbread man starts at the same place and has the same chance of winning by crossing the finish line, but does it work out that way? Students will enjoy playing the game AND use a clothespin graph [see sample on right] to collect some useful data on the winners.

Once students have collected class data from playing many games, they will come together to analyze the clothespin graph results. Students will be asked to discuss whether or not they think the game is fair for all of the gingerbread men and explain their reasoning.

Download the Run, Gingerbread, Run game so that students can get started playing and collecting data. The pdf file contains the spinner, gameboard, clothespin graph icons, and an optional tally sheet. 

Coordinate Graphing Game:  Catch the Gingerbread Men

For this game, students toss two dice (one regular and one marked A-B-C-D-E-F), form an ordered pair (e.g. B5), then remove the gingerbread man from that space, if there is one. Play continues until the timer rings or until one player has caught 10 gingerbread men. Students love playing the game and they get to practice their coordinate graphing skills in the process.

Coordinate Pairs: This seasonal version of the classic Battleship game provides practice in forming coordinate pairs, identifying the x-coordinate (A-F), then the y-coordinate (1-6) so that spaces are identified as C3 or E6. Hopefully, lots of practice will help students transition to the algebraic ordered pairs (x,y) where x and y are both numbers. Just be certain to reinforce the notion that the x-coordinate (across) comes before the y-coordinate (up or down). The alphabetical cues (across comes before up or down) help some students remember the order.

Download Catch the Gingerbread Men game mat, game pieces and directions for playing the game.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gingerbread House Coordinate Graphing

Introduce elementary students to coordinate graphing through seasonal coloring activities. The winter Gingerbread House activity requires students to use the grid code and crayons or markers to create a gingerbread house on a blank 11x11 grid. The use of letters on the horizontal axis and numbers on the vertical axis introduces young students to coordinate pairs without the confusion of the standard (h,v) format. Notice that it is important that elementary students become accustomed to listing the horizontal coordinate first as this will transfer to the Cartesian coordinates they will use in later grades.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall Problem Solving

The following open-ended assessments require students to apply mathematical concepts and skills to solve problems and explain their thinking using words, pictures and numbers.

  • Candy Corn presents a triangular numbers problem using a candy corn pattern. Younger students might use candy corn to model the problem. A sample solution shows how older students might use an input-output table to model the pattern and find the solution without the use of manipulatives.
  • Younger students will enjoy analyzing and completing Fall Patterns.  They should then classify the pattern and explain their reasoning as part of the class discussion. It is possible that students will see different patterns in some of the items so their explanation and justification are very important mathematical discourse.
  • Annual Fall Parade challenges students to use the triangular pattern to figure out how many students are in the fourth grade. Given the number of full rows, students must apply the pattern and use effective recording (picture, table, etc.) to explain their reasoning.
  • See more Problem Solving Resources from the Mathwire collections.  All problems are classroom-ready in PDF format.  Many contain a sample solution for teacher use.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spider Math

Be sure to check out Spider Math in the Mathwire Activity Themes.  The spider collection features math mats, name-collection spiders, glyphs and graphing ideas.  Spiders are also the theme of the day for a whole series of games as well as some problem solving activities including insects and spiders problems, which are a twist on the familiar cow and chicken legs and heads problems. 

The games are original Mathwire games designed to develop students' proficiency with important math concepts and skills.  The downloadable PDF files include game mats, directions, recording sheets and game pieces.  The spider games develop coordinate graphing, probability and map coloring, a discrete math topic.
  • Catch the Spider Game requires students to roll dice, form an ordered pair, and catch the spider in that square, if possible.
  • Spider Game-1 develops the concept of the probability of the outcome of tossing one die.
  • Spider Game-2 expands the game to examine the probability of the outcome of tossing two dice and how that change impacts the outcome of the game.
  • Spider Web Map Coloring Games require students to use map coloring rules to win the most points in this spider web game.
Teachers may use the Spider Math activities as a Halloween treat or add them to thematic spider units.  The games may be introduced as a whole-class activity, then shifted to the math center for pair play during transition times or indoor recess. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Candy Corn Contest

Math-Literature Connection - Estimation:
The Candy Corn Contest by Patricia Reilly Giff

This is a great literature connection for a Candy Corn Estimation Station, as described in the book. The sneaky teacher in this story required that students read a page in a library book for each guess they submitted. Math teachers might vary this requirement to include some fun math practice as a way to earn guessing rights. Either way, incorporating the actual candy corn jar estimation is a great seasonal variation of the Estimation Station described below.

Estimation Station

Establish a regular center in the room which changes weekly. A simple clear plastic container is filled with different items each week. These items should vary in size to challenge students' developing concept of volume, as it relates to smaller or larger units. Use seasonal items: acorns, leaves, candy corn, popcorn kernels, pumpkin seeds, etc. to spark student interest. Keep a class journal of these activities in which students may record their estimates. Record the item and the actual count along with a digital picture, if possible, of the container and the student(s) whose estimates were closest. Some classes involve parents by asking for volunteers to send in appropriate items to be counted. It is important to use the same container for several weeks so that students build an understanding that size matters in estimating how many items there are in the jar.

  • Download the Estimation Station Recording Sheet.
  • Suggestions for Using the Recording Sheets:  Have students record their names and guesses on page 2.  After counting the actual objects, fill in page 1 and post it in the estimation station.  Circle or color in the student(s) whose estimates were closest to the actual count.
  • Take a digital picture of the winner(s) each week and post this picture on page 1, covering the estimation jar clip art.
  • Enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Symmetric Faces

Halloween masks become a math activity when students create Symmetric Faces.   Each student needs a full sheet of one color construction paper and a half sheet of a contrasting color.  Students fold the full sheet of paper and insert the half sheet inside.  They then free-draw the outline of one side of the face including hair, ear, chin, etc.  After cutting, students open the full sheet and position the half sheet on one side.  They then draw the eyebrows, eyes, nose, and mouth on the half sheet.  Students need to carefully cut out these features and position them on the opposite side to create a symmetric face.

This is a fun holiday project and students learn a lot about symmetry as they correctly position the cut pieces.  It's also fun to see the wealth of ideas students generate from their 1.5 sheets of construction paper.  By varying the paper colors, this activity is appropriate for fall, Halloween, Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day, etc. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Candy Bingo Cards

Bingo is a great game that provides number recognition practice for pre-kindergarten through first grade students. This set of bingo cards includes 10 different bingo cards and a set of blank cards teachers may use to have students create their own winning cards. The range of numbers they may use for each column is posted at the bottom of each column. This is another terrific skill as students must choose appropriate numbers that fall within each range, including the endpoints in this case.

Download the Candy Bingo Cards for a great seasonal math activity. The cards work for the entire fall season. Teachers may use unit cubes, bingo markers or candy corn for the bingo pieces.   These cards work equally well for family get-togethers with children!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bat Jamboree

Bat Jamboree by Kathi Appelt introduces the triangular number pattern as bats assemble for the final number beginning with 10 bats in the bottom row, 9 in the next row, etc. to the very top row with 1 bat. Students are introduced to the 55 bats in formation and their various acts but the book "isn't over until the bat lady sings." Students will enjoy this introduction to an important mathematical pattern. Teachers can find many problems that build upon this triangular number pattern and extend the experience.

Student Written Problems: ask students to write original problems that use the triangular number pattern. Being able to write similar problems and solve them require higher-order thinking skills as students apply, synthesize and evaluate both the problems and the solutions.

Check out more Bat Activities in Mathwire's Math Activities Themes collection.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pascal's Pumpkins

Pascal's Pumpkins encourages students to look for patterns in Pascal's Triangle. The handout develops awareness of this important mathematical pattern through this timely seasonal activity. Students who take higher math courses will meet Pascal again in many different applications, including probability. This handout is an outgrowth of the Rutgers Universiy Discrete Math Institute.

Download Pascal's Pumpkins.  The PDF file contains the student handout and a detailed explanation of the different patterns students might find.  Be sure to make an overhead copy of the pattern so that students are easily able to point out patterns and explain the pattern that they see as they fill in the empty pumpkins.

Extend the activity by asking students to draw and label the numbers in the 7th, 8th, etc. row.  How does identifying the patterns help them complete this task more easily?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mad Monster

Add this coordinate graphing activity to your Halloween collection.  Students will practice identifying coordinate pairs as they color in the grid to create this picture.

View and download the Mad Monster coordinate graphing activity.  The PDF file contains the grid, key and completed picture.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Grab the Candy Corn Game

This game was designed to provide practice in coordinate pairs. Students place candy corn on the game board, then toss two dice to make an ordered pair. The player removes a candy if there is one on the space and then the other player takes a turn. Teachers may use real candy corn or the candy corn game pieces provided with the gameboard.

View and download the Halloween/Thanksgiving version of the Grab the Candy Corn Game. This PDF document includes the game board, optional game pieces, directions and a recording sheet.

Also check out the Grab the Candy:  M and M Version for an additional resource to use with students during the holiday season.  The PDF document includes the game board, optional game pieces, directions and a recording sheet.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Jack-O-Lantern Coordinate Graphing

It's fun to include seasonal activities during the fall and Halloween season.  Here's a great graphing experience to add to your fall collection!

This activity requires students to use the grid code and crayons or markers to create a jack-o-lantern on a blank 9x9 grid. The use of letters on the horizontal axis and numbers on the vertical axis introduces young students to coordinate pairs without the confusion of the standard (h,v) format. Notice that it is important that elementary students become accustomed to listing the horizontal coordinate first as this will transfer to the Cartesian coordinates they will use in later grades.

View and download the Mathwire Jack-O-Lantern coordinate graphing activity.

Be sure to check out all of the Fall Activities in the Mathwire Seasonal Math Activities collection.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pumpkin Math

Check out the newest addition to Mathwire's Math Activity Themes collection: Pumpkin Math. This collection capitalizes on students' natural preoccupation with all things pumpkin during the fall and Halloween season. Activities and resources include math mats, measurement, symmetry, games, math-literature connections, glyphs & graphing ideas, problem solving and links to additional internet activities.

Check out Pumpkin Math.

Monday, September 21, 2009

NCTM Number Sense Games

This NCTM Illuminations online game helps students develop number sense as they combine 5 different numbers with any of the 4 operations (+ - X /) to produce the target number. This online adaptation of the Krypto game is a great site for student practice of basic facts. Consider pairing students to work together and strategize solutions. Visit Mathwire's What's New? page to download a template to use with students who are not at the computer.

Add this game to your Game Day repertoire and send home the link to parents so that students can practice at home as well.

Create a free account on this site to play the games: Square Off, Factor Dazzle, Fraction Feud, Times Square or Slam Ball. This is a great way to practice multiplication and division facts. Two of my favorites are Factor Dazzle and Times Square.

In Factor Dazzle (Factor Game), students must correctly identify all of the factors of a number to gain points. But beware: the student chooses the number but the computer gets points for the sum of all the factors still available on the game board. Then the computer chooses a number and the student must identify all the factors still left on the game board. The player with the most points wins the game so students learn to choose very carefully and rehearse several options in the search for the best choice that yields the most points for them while giving their opponent the fewest points.

In Times Square (Product Game), students change one of the two given factors to create a new product on the game board. Four squares in a row wins the game. Students try to extend their own patterns while blocking their opponent. Once again, students must choose a factor carefully so that they don't give their opponent the winning edge.

The Calculation Nation site offers two different modes of play: players may challenge themselves by playing against the computer or they may challenge others by choosing another online player from a menu of available players. In fact, students are encouraged to try to play someone from each of the 50 states and the site keeps a record on a US map for students to view.

Once again, add this valuable free site to your classroom Game Day resources. Be sure to send this URL home to parents so that students may play at home as well. Students may easily challenge fellow students or their parents in the multi-user format. The challenge others option is an incredible format for tech-savvy kids!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Using Who Has? Decks to Develop Fact Fluency

Once students have developed conceptual understanding of the basic operations they need to develop fluency with the facts. One quick way to include daily practice and motivate students to master these basic facts is through the use of the Who Has? card decks. These decks can be created for virtually any topic and frequent use as both a whole class practice or as a center activity for partners or small groups will provide facts practice in a highly-motivating format.

Each deck has 24-30 cards that are distributed to students. Give out the extra to student volunteers or to better students who are able to watch two cards at a time. Then select a student to start the round. Alternatively, star one of the cards to be the beginning card. The first student reads his/her card and each student examines his/her card to see if he/she has the answer to that problem. The student who has the answer on his/her card, reads the answer, then reads the next question from the card. Play continues until the question is answered once again by the student who started the round.

I have found this to be the best way to practice basic facts. Students are so excited to play the game, that they forget they are actually learning. The underlying beauty of this game is that each student practices the 30 facts as the game progresses because he/she is checking both his/her card and the accuracy of other students. This activity provides basic fact practice without having to copy worksheets and students are more highly motivated by the Who Has? game.

Teachers may use these decks in several ways: class play, small group play, partner play or send them home for fact practice with parents. Be sure to visit Mathwire's Who Has? Activities page to read classroom management suggestions for implementing this fun activity and to download Who Has? decks.

The Mathwire Who Has? collection is formatted to print on 2 inch by 4 inch labels which may then be affixed to index cards to create the deck. Using different colored index cards for each deck also helps with the classroom management system. Teachers may consider creating multiple copies of each deck to keep in the math center, send home with students, and use as class decks. Each PDF download also includes a page with the complete deck listed for teacher convenience.

Who Has? Decks are an invaluable tool in any classroom. Visit Mathwire Who Has? Activities to download any of these decks for use in your classroom:

  • Multiplication Facts
  • Multiplication Facts (Spanish version)
  • Multiplication Facts, Decks B-D
  • Addition Facts
  • Doubles Facts
  • More or Less Facts
  • Fractions
  • Base Ten
  • Place Value
  • Coins
  • Algebra Variable Expressions
  • Geometry

Friday, August 28, 2009

Data Collection: What's in a Name?

Chrysanthemum is a great math-literature connection for the beginning of a new school year. Teachers naturally include introductory activities so that students get to know each other and, in the lower grades, become familiar with the different names.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes presents an excellent opportunity for a data collection activity as students collect data on the lengths of their names, comparing them to the length of Chrysanthemum's name. Some primary teachers use this as an introductory reading activity in the beginning of the year as students learn to "read" their classmates' names. A video of this book is also available as a possible culminating activity.

Extending the Mathematical Activity:
  • Teachers may also extend the book to include more formal data anaylsis through line plots, graphing and identifying statistical landmarks (median, mode, range) of the collected data.
  • Students might also analyze the difference in lengths of first names versus last names.
  • Download Mathwire's How Much Is Your Name Worth which asks students to find the cost of their name, then show two different ways they could pay for their name with money.
  • Investigate letter symmetry. How many letters have line symmetry? Younger students should be given Ellison punched letters so that they can fold them to check for line symmetry. Older students might collect data on the number of symmetrical letters in students' names.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Game Day

Many teachers have instituted a weekly game day. On this day, students rotate in small groups through various math centers. Students play games, practice math facts, finish up projects, meet with the teacher, or work on enrichment activities. A simple work chart and a timer are all that are needed to keep the activities rolling.

Teachers who plan this day find that they are better able to differentiate instruction to meet both the need for reteaching and the need for enrichment. While students play games to practice math facts or math skills (e.g. place value), the teacher is free to meet with small groups of students to reteach a concept/skill, provide additional guided practice, conduct oral assessment, introduce problem solving tasks or provide enrichment to more talented students. Each group may rotate to the teacher station for varied purposes.

While at first, it may seem tough to carve out this time in an already demanding schedule, teachers find that it is incredibly successful and very effective in keeping the class on the pacing schedule. This day provides dedicated time to meet varied needs, catch up on workbook correction, practice open-ended problem solving skills and/or conduct one-on-one or small group oral assessment. Grade level teams may coordinate to effectively plan activities for these weekly sessions.

Read more about setting up a Game Day on Mathwire:
Try it -- you just might like the practice!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Active Participation: Using White Boards

Active Participation: Using White Boards

A few years back, NCTM sold buttons that said “Math is not a spectator sport.” This is so true as we know that students have to be ACTIVELY involved in math lessons in order to construct meaning for themselves. White boards are my favorite tool for easily adding participation to classroom lessons and activities. Each student must write on his/her white board, allowing the teacher to see what each student is thinking. This makes it easy to evaluate learning throughout the lesson and modify, reteach or enrich, as needed, to meet these identified needs. Teachers who sprinkle these quick, written checks throughout lessons find it easy to form small groups for additional instruction or guided practice. They also identify more capable students who do not need the extra practice and would benefit from some enrichment activity.

Cheap White Board Alternative
Each student should have a whiteboard, dry erase marker and eraser that is kept in his/her desk for easy retrieval. If you do not have whiteboards, or need more to have one for each student, consider using the cheap alternative. Place a sheet of white card stock in a shiny sheet protector and use this as a white board. You could use regular paper, but the card stock is heavier and holds up better. It will also remain upright when students hold up their white boards for checking. Erasers can also be small pieces of black felt so each student can have his/her own.

Use White Boards to Assess and Differentiate Instruction
Students love working with white boards. There’s something about the dry erase marker and the ability to wipe the slate clean and start over that appeals to even the most reluctant students. Unlike paper and pencil, wrong answers and mistakes are easily wiped away in the process of learning. Focusing on only one problem at a time also helps students who need chunking to reduce visual clutter or students who are overwhelmed by a whole blank worksheet or workbook page. So, get out the white boards, markers and erasers this year and start planning to use them throughout each math lesson. They are an extremely valuable tool as you quickly evaluate student understanding of the lesson’s objective. They are also provide a way to assess previous learning before beginning a new unit to be certain that students have the requisite concepts and skills.

Some Suggestions for Using White boards to Increase Active Student Participation:

  • Do Now or Warm-up Activity

: Give students the date (24) or any number, and have the students write as many different names for that number as they can in 1-2 minutes. Have students share their results in small groups, then ask groups to share their best responses.

  • Check for Understanding: ask students to write their response on the white board. Circulate around the room as students are writing. After several moments, ask students to hold up their responses. Call on specific students to share their thinking.
    o Write another fraction that is equal to ½.
    o Which is larger 7.2 or 7.20? Why?
    o What do you call the number that appears the most often in a data set?
    o When you measure around the yard for a new fence, are you finding the perimeter or area of the yard?
    Transition Times: give students a task to do as you check homework, distribute papers, etc. Tell students they will have to explain their thinking when you check whiteboards.
    o Write the fact family for these numbers: 4, 5, 9
    o Write as many different names as possible for the number 12.
    o Write down 5 fractions that are between ¼ and 5/8.
    o Show 4 different ways to make 45 ¢.

  • Guided Practice: have students do several examples on the white board for checking. Identify the students who have mastered the day’s objective and release them to independent work. Gather students who need more practice at a small table and guide them through additional examples, as needed, until they are ready for independent work.

  • Jeopardy-type review at the end of a unit: every student gets to answer so you quickly identify any sticky points before testing

  • And so on and so on and so on…

  • More Active Participation Strategies:

    Check out additional active participation strategies on Mathwire:

    What’s your favorite way to use white boards in your math lessons? Post a comment with your favorite strategy.

    Sunday, August 9, 2009

    Contig and Contig Jr. Games

    Contig Game

    The Contig Game is one of the best games for practicing basic facts and one of my personal favorites. I have found that both students and teachers quickly become engrossed in the game. It is rewarding to watch students mentally rehearse many different options in search of the best move! Students also learn from each other as they watch partners combine numbers and operations, strategizing aloud to create the perfect move that captures the most points. It is a rich game that allows for differentiation as students begin play at their own entry level of comfort yet accommodates growth as students become more proficient at basic facts and operations.

    In the Contig Game, students toss three dice. They use those three numbers and any operations (*,-,*,/) to form a number on the game mat. Players earn an extra point for each covered number their new number touches, so students quickly learn to search for the best move that will yield the maximum possible points. The instructional benefit of the game is that students try many different combinations in search of that best move. Students with solid “fact power” definitely have the edge in this game!

    Check out the Mathwire version of Contig to download the directions and game board in PDF format.

    NEW: Contig Jr. Game

    Now younger students can also practice their addition and subtraction facts with the new Mathwire junior version of the game. The new Mathwire Contig Jr. game board is obviously different and provides lots of options for students to mark their answers. Scoring is similar to the regular Contig game, in that students earn more points if they can make an answer that lies next to X’s already on the board. The game may also be played in a very simple mode, where students simply use the dice numbers and addition and/or subtraction to make a number that is open on the game board. If they can’t make a number that’s still free, they lose their turn, and the other player goes.

    Check out the Mathwire version of the new Contig Jr. game to download the directions and game board.

    Implementation suggestions:
    · Place the game board in a sheet protector and let students mark their numbers with dry erase markers. They may also keep score in the margins of the game board so that everything is all in one place. Alternately, use manipulatives to cover the numbers.
    · Group students homogeneously to play this game so that better students are challenged by equally competent players. Likewise, students who are still mastering basic facts have an even playing field when matched with similar ability students. This should encourage all students to master basic facts in order to capture more points and win the game. This grouping also provides the necessary pacing (faster or slower) to match student needs.
    · Limit play time to 5 or 10 minutes, if needed. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of this time period.
    · Place the game in the math center and allow students to play when they have finished their work, during indoor playground time, and during other identified times.
    · After lots of experience playing the game, organize a class play-off where the winning player advances to the next round to play another winning player, etc. Continue rounds until only one player is left to be crowned Class Contig Champion.

    Saturday, August 8, 2009

    Welcome to the Mathwire Blog: New Games

    Welcome to the new Mathwire Blog. Each post will feature the latest addition to the Mathwire site , a new twist on a Mathwire classic activity or an internet resource that supports elementary math learning. The Mathwire site features classroom-ready, Standards-based math activities for elementary teachers and students.

    Check back often as new activities are featured on the site as well as this blog. Please let us know if you try the activity in your classroom and how you might have adapted it to best meet the varied needs of learners in your class.

    New Games on Mathwire
    The beginning of the new school year is always a great time to brush up on basic facts mastery. Be sure to check out the new Three Strikes And You're Out Game which provides practice in addition or subtraction facts. You can download the directions, game board and game pieces in PDF format on Mathwire.

    While you're there, check out the new M&M Probability Game Pieces which were created to go with the M&M Probability Game, at the request of some users. You'll find links for the game directions, recording sheets, and game pieces. There are also pictures of the game being played so that you can see how to create the sentence strip game board complete with the M&M game pieces. Check out these resources and download the PDF files on Mathwire.

    Math games are a great way to provide basic facts practice. Students feel that they are playing, but they're really practicing their basic facts over and over, trying to make the best move to win the game. It's a win-win!