Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A little game we like to call Calculation War

Spark loves to play the card game war. The game works like this. Divide a deck of cards in two, a pile for each player, each player flips over their top card and who ever has the high card wins both cards. Both players flip the matching cards and both lay three cards face down in a row and one card up. High card then takes all the cards. The game keeps going until one player is out of cards. Easy enough, the problem is the game can go on forever.

To speed the game up we added a math aspect to it. When the two cards are flipped over the first person to yell out the answer of what the two cards added together equals gets the cards. For Spark I count to three out loud, because it makes him more tense and excited than if I counted to myself, before I yell out my answer. If I played with Dancer she wouldn't get the extra three seconds we would just go head to head. For subtraction the smaller number is taken from the larger number. Multiplication is just the two number multiplied. Division is the smaller number into the larger one. If there is a remainder that needs to be said too, for example, 10 divided by 3 we would say 3 remainder 1.

The game has provided a fun way to keep up on math facts this summer. Also, by looking at the cards that I have left in my hand I can see the areas that Spark needs to work on. For example, this afternoon I had all the nines in my hands so I know that he needs more work with the nine addition facts. He is so fun to watch play, when he gets the answer he snaps his fingers, has a huge smile on his face and grabs the cards up so fast. The other benefit to me counting before giving the answer is I can control the speed of the game depending on how fast or slow I count so that a game can be played in five minutes or less. That is my little secret though!

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