Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Top 3 Favorite First Grade Commercial Math Games

I enjoy making my own math games, but sometimes it is nice to have a game done and ready to go. Games with tons of pieces don't work for me. The  games and activities listed below have a long shelf life and provide some needed skill practice and concept building.

1. 7 ate 9 

This game works on fact fluency quickly adding and subtracting 1, 2, or 3 to or from another number. At the beginning of the year, only a few students are fluent enough to enjoy playing this game. It does help to have students work with others that are close to their ability levels. By the end of the year, they play fast and furious.

I find that this game works best with 2 to 4 players at the first grade level.

To make it easier for students I have them put their cards face up in front of them. I usually have them start with 8 cards. If no-one can go, they pick a card from the draw pile.

My version: I use a deck of playing cards and play one more or one less. Each player gets 8 cards (2 rows of four). A card is placed face up in the middle of the deck. If a students has a card that is one more or one less they place it on top of that card. Now students look at the new card to see if they have one more or one less. I have my students say one more or one less, so I know that they know. If no-one has a match a new card is placed in the middle.

2. Ten Frame Towers

This game does have a lot of pieces, but my students enjoy it and it gives them a lot of practice with making ten. At the beginning of the year, I bring it out to work on making ten. Towards the end of the year, I pull it out again and this time students are more fluent and can easily see combinations that equal ten.

I am not a direction reader, but for this game I had to read the directions to figure it out. I have included a video link to help those of us that like to see how it works.

3. Ten Frame Trains (Set of 10)

Students use unifix cubes (not included) to build trains of ten. I usually have students work with a partner to see who can fill up their trains first (up to 50) or their work together to fill up the train(to 100).

(More to Come....)