December 14, 2020 | Cindy Kuperus
Recently, Mr. Martino and I were preparing materials for Unit 3 of the third grade math Investigations program. We remarked at how many materials were needed for this unit called, “Travel Stories and Collections: Addition, Subtraction, and the Number System.”
In this unit, students will add 2-digit numbers to 100, add and subtract numbers up to 400, and learn about place value, including rounding numbers to the nearest hundred and thousand.
There are five games that guide children in practicing computation and place value in this unit. Students play “Go Collecting”, which is like “Go Fish.” When students have a match, they must find how many hundreds would be in the final equation. That is their score for the round, and the first one to 20 points wins!
As an example, in the equation 248+255, a student must see that the 48 and 55 add to another hundred, making their score for that round five. They write their scores on a recording sheet, as the students in the photo below are doing.
Another game is called Close to 100. A student draws six “digit” cards from a pile. He or she must determine how to use four of those cards to make an equation that is closest to 100. If, out of a set of six cards, a student chooses 85+16, his or her score for that round is one because 101 is one away from 100.
So why play games at all? Isn’t that just frivolous? The research says the opposite. Here are just three reasons written by a blogger for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
Games give students opportunities to explore fundamental number concepts…such as computation strategies.
—by Kitty Rutherford, April 2015, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
So…Let the games begin!