Tag Archives: games

Cross Over: A game for practicing addition and subtraction

Hello all!

I’d like to share another strategic game from BEAM called Cross Over.

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 6.39.18 PMPlayers start on opposite sides of the hexagonal game board and roll a regular 6-sided die, then choose whether to add the number shown or to subtract it, moving only to touching spaces.

The goal of the game is to land on the opposing player’s start space.

As the days become warmer and drier here I am imagining a version of this game played outside on an interlocking brick driveway or a drawn with … you guessed it… sidewalk chalk.  :o)  But perhaps that’s a bit ambitious.

Regardless of how you choose to play, students working on mastering addition and subtraction will enjoy Cross Over, and the combination of strategy and luck will ensure that even older children and parents will find the game accessible and fun.




Sidewalk Chalk Meets Math Game!

For those of you who are looking for ways to play together and build mathematical thinking and skills at the same time, consider this simple hopscotch game. You’ll need sidewalk chalk and a small stone. Children can play alone or in partners.

Go outside. Draw a large square on the pavement. Divide the square into at least 9 smaller squares, as shown below. This is called a matrix.

In each of the smaller squares record a number from 1 to 9. You can put them in any order. Now take a small stone and toss it onto the matrix. This is your starting square. From here, you must jump to the number that adds to give you 10.

In the game below, a child has thrown a stone onto the number 8.  She stands on the number 8 then and has to jump to get to the number 2 — the missing part to get to 10.

Get to 10If there’s another child nearby, they should record the equation that matches the jump. (8 + 2 = 10)

Player 2 (if there is one) takes his turn, throwing a stone and jumping from that number to the missing part to make ten.  Player A records the equation.

The first player to hop on all the combinations is the winner. (And yes, landing on a 5 gets you a double jump!)

If you’re stuck inside, make the matrix on a sheet of paper and toss coins — or even Cheerios! — instead of jumping from number to number. Toss the first coin, say the number you’ve landed on, then say what the missing part is to get to the desired sum.

Of course you can changeGet to 100 the numbers to suit the age and stage of the players…  

Consider a double-digit version (Get to 100!) or even a decimal version (Get to 5.0!).  The sky’s the limit. I’ve included line masters for each of these games — and a blank grid, too — for you to use as inspiration. 

Have fun… stay safe…


Get to 5.0

Math at Home

Math For Families CoverTo my teaching colleagues and parents everywhere…

We have always been partners in the mathematics education of our children — and now we find ourselves in a time that demands even more collaboration between home and school. Ensuring that our children have meaningful math learning experiences when we are inside and inundated with technological distractions can be difficult.

To that end I am inviting you to explore the following resource for parents of primary aged children. It was written years ago in a partnership between the BC Ministry of Education and a group of respected BC educators to support parents of young children to find and highlight mathematics in their daily lives. From sorting and counting to estimating and measuring, Math For Families has dozens of simple activities that families will love.  The resource has also been translated into Chinese and Punjabi.

For more free resources, visit my online store at mindfull.ecwid.com

And please, stay well.


Dot patterns and ten frames – Around the World for K/1/2

I thought I would post a copy of a game that I created (which I KNOW someone else out there has likely done before me!) to support young children in recognizing sets of number at a a glance.  We all know how important this skill is in promoting number sense in young learners!  In this game called “I have… Who Has…?” for grades 1 and 2, students start with a card (or more than one, if there are enough cards to go around!). Choose any child you like to begin the cycle.  She reads from her card, from left to right, saying the number represented in the picture (“I have 14.”) and then asking the question (“Who has seven?”).  Students listen for their number, then ask their question until all students have had a chance to read.  The game is over when the first person to read, reads again. Be sure and hand out ALL the cards, or the cycle won’t work… 🙂

I have created a Kindergarten version of the “I have… Who has…?” game as well. The numbers go only to 10, and there are picture of fingers to help them “read” the number word. A small group – or partners – works best for this one, since there are only ten cards!

Have fun with this!

(And for my friends in Coquitlam who witnessed the spectacular initial fail of this game, rest assured that I’ve fixed it!)


Fun online game – working with doubles

I was cruising around this morning and came across some of my favourite games for practicing mental math strategies. Check out this cool game called dinosaur dentist…  It asks kids to find the double fact that matches the number of teeth in the dinosaur’s mouth, then to subtract one tooth (the black one) to find the doubles less one fact!  The pain-free dino does a dance to celebrate afterwards.  Very cute!

The next game is called Woodcards.  It uses the idea of partitioning to help kids see how they can apply doubles strategies to much larger numbers.  The cards with the digits printed on them slide apart to help students remember they are talking about tens and ones!  It pairs the numbers with abacus sets to represent the values. This is a good game for late grade 2 or grade 3.

They are part of the most amazing and conceptually grounded sets of games for developing number and operational sense in primary students.  They are really fun (yes, even for me!) and the graphics are great too.  Check them all out at ICT Numeracy Games.  Developed by James Barrett to match the very evolved British curriculum, they are focussed on mental math strategies and help target those ideas in early learners.

Have fun!

Kindergarten & Grade 1 math games – mastering fives & tens

I am, as many of you know, a great fan of the games produced by the good folks at BEAM. They are conceptual, strategic and focus on the big math ideas across the grades. One of my favourites is “Totally Ten Snake”, in which two players take turns covering pairs of digits that add to 10 along a “snake” of numbers. When all the digits are covered – each player using his or her own coloured counters – the winner is the one with the longest string of digits covered in their colour. In the example below, red wins, with 4 in a row at the end of the game against purple:

Well, I love this game a lot, and when played strategically it can engage kids across the grades (and even adults at my workshops!). That said, I thought it was worth re-jigging the game for children who are younger, and for those who need support to focus on quantity rather than on the digits as set out in the original BEAM game.
These edited games are geared towards understandings of 5-ness and ten-ness, and use dots in place of digits. The rules are the same as in the original.  You can download your own version of Terrific Ten Snake or the easier ten frame 10 snake and/or the Fabulous Five Worm by clicking on their names…

Enjoy!  Carole

K&1 book cover

PS – If you’re looking for more ideas like this for K and grade 1, consider purchasing a copy of my book: Number Sense – A Combined Grades Resource for K, K/1 and Grade 1 Math Classrooms.  It’s set up to support teachers in addressing the number PLOs in mindful ways while keeping their Kindergarten and Grade 1 students together. Games, tasks, problems and meaningful practice opportunities are included in English and in French. To order online, click here.