Tag Archive | place value

Playing Card Math


I LOVE to play board games at home, but I also enjoying using them in my classroom. In addition to encouraging cooperation, turn taking and a variety of other social skills, I find I can often use the games to work on math and literacy skills. So, every Friday, I am going to post a Friday Game Night post, giving tips on how to use a particular board game in your classroom. Here’s this week’s Friday Game Night Tip:

Playing Cards – Part 1 (Math)

For weeks now, we’ve been looking at board games, but this week, were looking at one of the simplest – and cheapest type of games – playing cards!  My grandmother was a product of the depression and all she had growing up was a deck of cards.  She taught me every card game out there (Here’s a link with rules for lots of games).  These games themselves can be great for teaching strategy and critical thinking, but there are so many other ways to use playing cards in the classroom.  Here are some ways to use playing cards in your math lessons.  For all of these variations, the face cards (Jack, Queen, King, Ace) should either be removed or assigned a value.  For most variations, I use these values: Jack =11, Queen =12, King = 13 and Ace = 1.  For variations that require place value, Ace = 1, Jack = 0, and the King and Queen are wild cards.  Once your class is used to an assigned value, they will readily transfer that value from one card game to another.

1. Play War – Do you remember playing the never ending game of war as a kid?  This simple game is a great way to work on greater than and less than.  Split the deck between two players.  Players keep all cards face down.  Each player flips over a card.  The player with the larger number gets to take both cards.  Continue until someone runs out of cards.  The person who runs out of cards loses.  (If both cards are the same, you can either have the kids do a “war” with extra cards, or you can have them place the cards in “jail” and keep them out of play.)

2. Line them Up – In this game, each player gets seven cards.  Once all cards are dealt, the students should race to get them lined up from largest to smallest.  The first person to get them in line gets a point.

3. Add them Up – This is a variation on war – Split the deck between two players. Players keep all cards face down. Each player flips over a card. Both players look at the cards and try to add the values in their head.  The first person to get the right answer gets to take both cards. Continue until someone runs out of cards. The person who runs out of cards loses.

4. Multiply – This is a variation on war – Split the deck between two players. Players keep all cards face down. Each player flips over a card. Both players look at the cards and try to multiply the values in their head. The first person to get the right answer gets to take both cards. Continue until someone runs out of cards. The person who runs out of cards loses.

5. Make the Biggest or Smallest Number – Each player takes 5 cards.  The players then race to see who can make the biggest number, or the playingcardmatplacevaluefreebiesmallest number – depending on the ability of your students.  I have a mat that I use when I put this into centers, so that it is easier for my students.  Grab a free copy of the mat from Google Docs by clicking on the picture.

6.  Category  – Each player takes 6 cards.  The students group their cards into 2 categories.  For lower level students, assign the categories (odd & even, greater than 5 & less than 5, multiples of 3 and non multiples).  For higher level students, let them decide their own categories, but they must be able to justify them.

7.  Describe Your Number  – Each player takes 1 card.  They then must come up with 5 ways to show or describe their number.  (ie.  If the card they draw is 6, their ways could be: 2 x 3, half a dozen, 5 + 1, 10 – 4, six, or seize).

8.  Make Your Own Problem – Each player takes 4 to 6 cards and uses their cards to make an addition, subtraction or playingcardmatadditionfreebiemultiplication problem.  Then, they challenge their partner to answer the problem they have created.  Each round the creator and the answerer change places.  I have a mat that I use when I put this into centers, so that it s easier for my students.  Grab a free copy of the mat from Google Docs by clicking on the picture.

 

I hope some of these suggestions will help you use playing cards to teach math in a new and interesting way.  Click HERE for more suggestions on how to use board games in the classroom.

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Best Math Website Ever


It’s time for the Wednesday Website suggestion!! For two years, I was the Technology Specialist at a school in Georgia. During that time, I amassed a large collection of websites that I use with my students. If you want to search through some of them, you can check out my IKeepBookmarks site. Or, you can check back here each week for the Wednesday Website suggestion.

 

It’s hard to say I have a favorite website, because there are so vm1many that I love to use with my students.  However, this week’s website is WAY up there on my list.  It’s pretty much my go-to math site, especially when I have access to a projector (or even better an interactive board).  It’s called Virtual Manipulatives.  It is sponsored by Utah State University and it shows so many concepts in so many great ways.  It is also able to be translated into Spanish or French, so it’s a great one to send home with your English Language Learners who have these home languages (as well as your other students) because their parents will have more access to the directions.

Here are the three sections that I use the most, but there is so much more to this website than even this.

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Base Block Subtraction – Drag the red blocks to the blue blocks to make them disappear.  When you don’t have enough ones, drag a ten’s block to the one’s section and watch it separate!

 

 

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Comparing FractionsSee equivalent fractions side by side, play with denominators, just overall a great visual for this concept.

 

 

 

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Analog and Digital Clocks – Make the digital clock match the analog clock.  Simple and easy, view both side by side, great visual for students.

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this Wednesday’s Website suggestion – check back each Wednesday for a new Wednesday’s Website suggestion. Also, feel free to check out some of my previous Wednesday Website suggestions including: Science Kids, Find the Dog’s Bone, Curious George Measurement, Storybird, Counting Money, Presidential Biographies and Math Magician.

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