Friday, September 5, 2014

September Math Games ... and a Freebie, of course!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

I love to find lots of ways to use common classroom items. For instance, I love taking old wall alphabet sets and alphabet flash cards and letting the little guys build "alphabet trains" that wind their way around the classroom floor. If you have lots of old wall sets, they're also fun to use for Great Big Letter Sorts ... and don't your kiddos just love anything that's super-sized? Recycling in action!

Today I'd like to share a few ideas for using plain old number cards to play math games that require no additional materials.

I'll bet you've got lots of them already ... flash cards or even a deck of cards will do for these games.
But just in case, here's a free set of monster cards. There's a full color set and also a blackline set ... let your students color them to save yourself some ink. You'll want to print multiple copies to play these games.  Just click the picture to download!

So, on to the number card games!

1) Shuffle and deal the cards equally to two or three players. Each player spreads out his cards face down in front of him. On the count of three, all players turn over all of their cards and race to put them in numerical sequence from least to greatest. Variation: Players sequence their cards from greatest to least.

2)  Shuffle the cards and deal equally to two players. Players each put their cards face down on a pile
in front of them. On the count of "One, two, three, flip!", both players turn over their top two cards and add the numbers. The player with the greater sum takes both cards. Variation: The player with the lesser sum takes both.

3)  Shuffle and deal the cards equally to two players for this place value game. Players each put their cards face down on a pile in front of them. On the count of "One, two, three, go!", both players turn over their top two cards and use them to make a two-digit number. The player who makes the greater number takes all four cards. Variations: The player who makes the lower number takes the cards. Or, try the same game with three-digit numbers or even four (you'll need to make lots of cards for this!)

4)  This one is tricky but makes a fun math challenge that's also good for strategizing and for following directions! Again, shuffle and deal the cards equally to two players. On the count of ... (you get it, make up your own silly count for this one. Sometimes my students would say, "One, two, three, September" or whatever the month happened to be. Have some fun with it! ), players turn over their top three cards, choose two to add, and then arrange the sum and the other number to make the highest possible two-digit number. The player who makes the higher number takes all six cards.  Hint: some of your students will appreciate the support of using a whiteboard or scrap paper when playing this game.

Would you like some more ideas for number card activities? How about another set of free number cards, this time with a pirate theme? Click on the picture to find them at my blog!

Do you have a great idea for using number cards? Please share it in the comments!

Does it seem like, no matter how carefully you prepared, you always find yourself searching for something more once school gets started?  I know it always happened to me, so I asked teacher-authors to share their "Back to School Best".  Here are over 150 resources, free and paid, gathered together like a virtual mini-mall for you! :)

Happy Teaching!

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