Monday, May 23, 2011

Clear the Board

As we start to wind down the year, we've been pulling out more and more math games to play with the kids. Honestly at this point, no one, including the kids feel like doing any real work, so games it is!

My absolute favorite game is Clear the Board which I've taught to most of first grade and about a dozen second graders so far. It's great for that fact practice and an added bonus is that there is a built in number line for any needed help.

I did notice that it tends to take a little encouragement to get the kids to use more than one operation to remove chips from their board. However, every time I taught a group of kids how to play, there was always someone who was upset because they were certain their partner was cheating. Why? Their partner had barely any chips on his or her side and they had a ton left. Nine time out of 10 this is because one player was using both addition and subtraction to remove chips, while the other was using only addition. I usually used this to make a point that this game required the use of both if you wish to win.

A few of my second graders are also starting to understand multiplication. I told them they are allowed to use multiplication to remove chips, but only if they are willing to help their partner use multiplication. All were willing and the result was new students beginning to gain an understanding of a new concept. Yahoo!

Click here to download the game board and click here to download the directions. You'll also need two 6-sided dice per partnership (I also heart double dice and so do my kiddos) and manipulatives of some sort. Standard size chips are actually too big and I  keep meaning to bring in beans to use instead.

Happy gaming!

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