All kids need number practice, even if they "get" math super well. The mental math involved with dice and card games, and the organization of scoring the points themselves are valuable lessons that should not be ignored!
(Would someone please remind me that I just wrote that! Days can be so busy, that if we don't purpose to make time for mental math number practice, I will forget!)
My daughters got to sit down today for a quick and fun math game called, "Roll to $1.00".
I found this great lesson in a book called 50 Problem Solving Lessons by Marilyn Burns. You will need to read about Marilyn Burns and her approach to teaching Math. Serious Math love!
Gather all the dimes and pennies in the house. If your kids just donated all the dimes you have in the house for crafts for kids in Syria like mine did, then you'll have to dig under couch cushions, visit the dashboard of your car, or the junk drawer in the kitchen. Is it just me, or do you have change everywhere, too? (please make my day and just agree with me!).
Place the dimes and the pennies in separate bowls. I have nickels in a third bowl. Please just ignore the bowl. It was for my three-year-old. I was having her change out pennies for nickels during this activity so that she wouldn't be left out.
So let me repeat: All you will need is a bowl of pennies and a bowl of dimes. Got that?
You are quick!!
Burns maintains that it is necessary for kids to learn how to organize their own math figuring. Brilliant! So, instead of making score sheets for kids, they need to do it themselves!
Have your child draw a line straight down (vertically) the middle of the paper. Write Dimes on one side, and pennies on the other. Then ask them to draw a horizontal line right under the words "dimes" and "pennies" and then divide the rest of the paper with 6 more horizontal lines to create seven rows under each of the two categories. Like this:
Taking turns, have one child roll the die at a time. Let's say she rolls a 5. She needs to choose between 5 dimes or 5 pennies, but not a combination of each. Then the other child rolls. It's a 3! Will she choose 3 dimes or 3 pennies? This goes on for exactly 7 times, with each child playing the same number rolled. Whoever gets closest to $1.00 without going over, wins! Children must change out each set of 10 pennies for one dime as you play along.
This is a game of quick addition, ones and tens practice, and strategy. The lesson in the book goes on even further to show the strategies written by actual students.
It's a wonderful game, and the book is chock-full of lessons just like it! You can further investigate Marilyn Burn's wonderful educator community here.