Sunday, 29 March 2020

Learning at home with dice and cards

Hey Friends,

I hope home schooling is going well for you and murder has not been committed.  It is important to remember to be kind to yourself and to your littles, this is a time when we should be minimising stress not increasing it. Some of the best learning is done through games so today I am going to share ways that you can use dice and cards to build fact fluency and problem solving.

1. Race to....
Set a number to reach depending on the level of ability for your child. Take turns to roll the dice (or can be done with one person) and add on to the total until you reach the target number. You can also use this for subtraction, so instead of counting up you start at the target number and count backwards. If your little needs help with counting you could use a number line or items to count with such as dried beans or lentils, rocks, leaves, blocks etc.

2. Odd and Even
Choose a number of times you will roll the dice, depending on the ability of your child. Gather a collection of items eg rocks, blocks, m&m's, pretzel sticks, sultanas or anything you have a collection of. One person is odd, one person is even. When the even player rolls an even number they can take 1 token (whatever you have chosen) if they roll odd they don't get anything. Then the other player rolls, if they roll an odd number they take a token. Continue to roll the dice for the amount of rolls you identified in the beginning. To increase the difficulty add more dice so the child has to add, subtract or multiply the numbers before identifying whether the number is odd or even.

3. Clear the Board
Create a grid 10 across and 6 down. Write numbers across the top, 1-10 for students who are learning about numbers to 10, students beyond that could be 11- 20 or even greater numbers. Roll 2 dice for numbers to 10, 3 or more dice for numbers beyond. Students add the numbers and if they can make whatever numbers on the board they then place a token on the grid under that number. The next person has a go and places a different token. Continue to play until all the places on the grid are filled and the person with the most tokens on the board is the winner.  This can also be played by each player taking it in turns to put tokens on the board then taking it in turns to roll the dice and remove their token if they are under that particular number. This can be done by adding, subtracting or multiplying the dice.


There are sooooo many card games you can play to practice maths facts and fluency. Any of your traditional card games are great to play, Snap, Uno, Memory etc are fun and involves mathematical thinking.

1. Greater than Less than 
This card game can be played with 2 or more players and can be adjusted for the ability of your child. First of all remove K, Q, J and joker cards, if you are turning over 2 or more cards also take out the 10, Ace becomes a 1 card.
Identify if you are going to be playing for who has the largest number or the least number. Players take it in turns in turning over cards and then identifying who has the greatest or least. If you are playing for greatest number whoever has the greatest number collects the other players cards, if you are playing for least, whoever has the least collects the other players cards. This game can be adjusted for ability by choosing how many cards you will turn over, so for numbers to 10 only turn over 1 card, 2 digit numbers, 2 cards and so on. This helps students learn about place value and number sense.

2. Make to....
Take our K, Q, J and Joker cards, Ace becomes 1.
This game works on fact fluency and can be adjusted for the ability of your child.
Identify what you are going to add to, 10 for beginning students beyond that for more capable learners. Lay the cards face up so they are in an even grid and each card is next to another. Players take it in turns to take away cards that add to 10 or whatever number you have identified. Generally it is only 2 cards but you can adjust this to whatever you want. The cards must physically be next to each other and they can be moved after each turn to fill gaps. This can be differentiated to using subtraction or multiplication as well. 

3. Double up. 
Take out K, Q, J and Joker cards as well as 7 and 9, Ace becomes 1.
This game focusses on students learning about doubles and is played like Go Fish. 
Each player is dealt 5 cards each player asks for the doubles that make the total of a card in their hand eg if they have a 6 they need to get two 3 cards to make a double group. If the other players say no double they pick up a card and the next player has a turn. 

4. Go Fish Partitioning
Take out K,Q, J. Ace becomes 1.
This game is played exactly like double up except you ask for 2 numbers that make up a number in your hand. To increase the difficulty players can ask for 3 or 4 cards to make up a number.

This is just a few ways you can use games to practice maths at home in a fun and easy way but can be adjusted for the ability of your child. You could even ask your child to create a dice or maths game that they could share with the family. 

I would love to hear from anyone who has had a go at some of these games and let me know how it went. Oh and have fun!

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