Sunday, 7 December 2014

Race To A Hundred Game

Number rods are fantastic for building real number sense for the "math-shy".  Also called I-memorized-my-way-through-math-class.  Also called I-flunked-accounting-in-college.  Also called now-I'm-scared-to-teach-math-to-my-daughter.  Also called me.  

Whether you call them number sticks or Cuisenaire rods, they're alive and well in our playroom.  This is our absolute favourite game to play over and over.


To catch up on basics on how we've started using number sticks, head over to the handy gallery here.

I'm really not an expert at this, but I know this game reinforces all sorts of goodies: the decimal system of 1s, 10s, 100s, skip counting by tens, addition and just basic number sense. Things like how many 100 is, and how many tens make a hundred.  

Eventually she could lay out the start of the game herself: ten orange (10s) sticks in a row with the number labels.  This is the beginning layout.

You'll also need a pair of dice!  Try to spot ours above.

You each throw the die and lay down the stick you got.  
To get in some addition practice, add each number as you go.

We each rolled twice already (blue is nine and seven is black)

To practice making tens, the minute you overlap to the next ten trade up!  That way it's easy to see in a glance how many tens you have, and add the units left.

In this case the top reads "18" (one orange and one brown stick).
The top one says 31 (3 orange ten sticks and a white unit stick).  The bottom says 27.  She's winning!

It's been slowly working on her fine motor control too, as she delicately fixes the game pieces. 


Inevitably you'll reach an instance where you either teach/practice dynamic addition (crossing a tens place) or not.  I get a huge kick out of seeing how it builds on the first skill of knowing the number bonds of ten.  1+9, 2+8, and so on.

To illustrate, here's how we build on that basic skill to teach dynamic addition:



Now if your preschooler isn't into dynamic addition yet, don't force it.  You can use the beginning layout as a visual guide to see where the number crosses into another tens place, then just put the remainder stick.

Watch her use the sticks to try to figure out the answer:




When daddy's around he teaches another life skill : heckling.



It ends when someone passes the 100 mark:

Guess who won?
Guess who won?

Guess who won?



Guess who's liking math more and more?
Me Her!


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