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What We're Up To: Math Games from Guided Math

OR: Math no longer results in tears, and a mother's sanity is saved.... hallelujah!

My Gosh! It has just been one cold/flu after another in our household for the last several weeks! In fact, Mario has missed so much school in the last month that I have been doing some math games with him at home, so that he isn't too, too far behind....

That wasn't the original plan though - the plan was to do the math assignments he was missing, him being home from school and all. And, he is usually pretty good with addition and multiplication, but here lately every time we try to get at it, he freezes up, and we get no where.

So, a few nights ago, I went poking around on the Internet and found some games (what did parents do before the World-wide-web, anyways?) on this site.

Now, Mario is currently studying multiplication for the first time, so the following games were pertinent and are the ones we have been playing the last couple of days:

  • Multiplication Go Fish - Same as regular Go Fish, however in this version, players ask if another player has a certain number, not by calling out the number, but by forming a multiplication question (i.e.: do you have any 2 X 5's?). Mario thought this game was hilarious... we played 4 rounds in a row, and even introduced some division (do you have any 20/2's?). See the entire explanation here
  • Coverall - This is a dice and grid game. Players have a grid to fill in and determine the number of blocks to colour by rolling 2 dice and then multiplying them together (i.e.: die 1 = 3; die 2 = 4, therefore colour in 3 x 4 = 12 blocks). The first player to fill in all squares wins. Complete explanation and download-able grid here. This is a longer game, we only played once. 

What I like about both these games is how fun and adaptable they were - either could be played based on addition instead (or division/subtraction ;-). I will definitely keep them in the "game rotation" we have going on.... they are bit more challenging than Trouble (the gods know I need a break from that ;-) and learning disguised as fun makes me happy!

... And, oh.... did I mention that questions pertaining to 3 X 3 and 5 X 2 NO LONGER result in tears? (Thank gawd! ;-)

Check out the site  for tons more imaginative math fun! 


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