Tag Archives: Math

Race for a Quarter

26 Sep

It goes by many names, but I find the math game “Race for a Quarter” to be one of the best beginning of the year math games. I first learned this game when we had an Everyday Math adoption and a similar game is included in our Investigations Units.

This game is about so much more than counting money! On the simplest level, it can be used to assess one-to-one correspondence, counting, and coin identification. At the higher level, it reinforces equivalencies as children trade their five pennies for a nickel, two nickels for a dime, and so on. Also, they are constantly practicing their addition to keep track of their totals and practicing their subtraction as they see how far they are from 25 cents.

For a classroom, it couldn’t be simpler. A couple of dice and a handful of change is all you need!


Parents in my class, I’m happy to pass along the instructions for practice at home!


Math Games

13 Sep

My first few years of teaching, I rarely let my students play games in the classroom. This was serious business, they were here to learn, not play!

Today, math games are a daily occurrence! Each day, students are engaged in math games as I teach small groups at my teacher table.

Math games greatly increase the level of student engagement in a task. Not only are the children keeping track of their own turn, they are watching their classmates too! As with any skill, repeated practice is very important. Give a child some number cards or dice, they will add, subtract, or manipulate those numbers for as long as you will let them.

I also use math games because they differentiate so well for different levels of learners. Some of my early learners may simply be figuring sums and keeping score. They are developing the very important early number sense. Those students who have these skills mastered are noticing the patterns and strategizing.

We know that teaching a skill to someone else requires a deeper level of understanding. Those games give strong math students the ability to teach their classmates. As they work to find ways to accurately communicate their math thinking, they are actually deepening thinking of their own!

I love Marilyn Burns games as well as the games that are included in our Investigations units.

I’d love to hear any other thoughts on math games!