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Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Math Games: The Three Games


These three games are the basis of my beginning math program. Many further activities branch out from these three games, so they are called The Three Games. Once the concepts that these three games work on are mastered, then I can add on more complex concepts.

The Hand Game
The nice thing about this game is that it requires hardly any materials: some sort of counter and your hand! Take out 10 counters of any type and separate the into two piles: one goes on the table and the other in your hand. It doesn't matter how you divide them. Have your students now figure out how many are in your hand. The answer is then verified by counting. Repeat with different divisions over and over. This was a good game for older children to run, practicing teaching younger siblings.

Lift the Bowl Game

This game requires the same counters and a small bowl. This is basically the same game as the hand game except the one division is put under a bowl instead of in the hand. It can be done as a pair or as an individual with self-checking the answer by lifting the bowl and counting.




Peek Through the Wall
This game again uses the same concept of dividing 10 counters into two piles, but this time they are separated by a "wall" made of an index card in which the middle has been cut out. This is the easiest version of the game because you can see both piles at the same time, so the answer is asked to be given very fast. This is the last transition before the student is asked to give the answers to problems such as 4 + __ = 10 on paper. By playing all these games many times, the student should be able to visualize the answer 6 in his head, so that these concepts are not memorized but really known.


1 comment:

  1. You are so creative!!! I've been interested in teaching this concept and have seen Right Start's way of introducing whole vs. part through visual notation but your way is more concrete and good for early learners! I will put these ideas to use right away! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful ideas every week. I look forward to reading them.

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