Showing posts with label math games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label math games. Show all posts
Money is a HUGE part of the math curriculum for 2nd graders!  It can be a pretty abstract concept for many kids, but I love using hands on, real world money activities and games to bring counting money to life.  Let's take a closer look at a few of my favorite money activities and money games for second grade.

Alexander, Who Used to be Rich...

I love this book so much.  But honestly, I just love Alexander no matter what book he's in!

The story is perfect for walking through a real world example of using money and counting coins.  Because our goal for this lesson is identifying the value of coins, that is what I really focus on for each slide of the story.

Then, we play Roll A Dollar and kids practicing adding pennies up to one dollar!

Counting Collections of Coins

Making money realistic and relating it to the real world is so important!  This digital game does just that!  We go through these slides together and count the coins to write the price on the tag.

Once we practice this skill together, kids get in partners and grab 10 coins from their prepared bag and count their collection!

Building a Collection of Coins

Who doesn't want to help Granny with her fruit stand?  I love this activity because it can be digital or printable.  Plus, depending on the group's decision, there are so many ways to work through Granny's fruit stand!

You can find all of the money activities and lesson plans for 2nd grade math in my Guided Math Workshop Lesson Plans.


Anytime I can find a game for kids to play to reinforce a math skill, it's a win for me!  These are some of my go-to games for 2nd graders that are low prep, easy to learn, and simple to play over and over again!

Doubles Bingo

Doubles are huge in first and second grade because they help unlock so many math facts and give kids a fluent way to add and subtract.  I love using Bingo because most kids already know the rules and so it doesn't take much to model how to play!

I used one of the doubles bingo boards and spinners from my Guided Math Workshop Plans and we were good to go.  We used a pencil and paperclip to make a spinner.  I played this with my 2nd grader when I homeschooled him during the #covidyear and it was just as fun with one player as it is with a classroom full of players.

I love Bingo games because they are great for whole group lessons if you need something easy for a sub.  They are great for volunteers or aids to do with a small intervention group in the hallway.  They work well for parents to use at home too.  And they are great to put in a station like I do for Guided Math and let kids play in partners.

Roll and Solve

I used LOTS of Roll and _____ games in K-2.  Once the kids know the framework of the game, it's easy to change out the skill across all areas of math, phonics, literacy and more!  The math game shown below is for practicing specific addition and subtraction strategies.  It's to force kids to move away from using the same strategy every single time and push them to be more flexible mathematicians.

In Roll and Solve, kids have one die.  They roll and solve one of the math problems in the row of the number they roll.  So, if they roll a 2, they solve the first box in row 2.  Once they fill a row, they win.

There are different ways to play this game.  You can have a game sheet for each partner.  Let the partners take turns rolling and solving.  The first one to fill a row wins.

You can also do what we did in this version below.  My 2nd grader and I each used a different color.  He solved odds and I solved evens.  When he rolled, he rolled until he rolled an odd number.  I only rolled even numbers.  Again, whoever fills in the first row wins.  This just saves a few more trees! :)

Add and Subtract Tic-Tac-Toe

Everybody loves tic-tac-toe!  And I love using it for practicing skills.  It's another one that's grade for a wide range of skills in math and literacy!

This printed version is from my Guided Math Workshop Plans, but I have made hand written copies of tic-tac-toe countless times over the years to help with Letter or number ID, spelling, decoding words, shapes and more!

In this math game, kids will choose which square they want.  They must correctly solve the 2-digit addition or subtraction equation before they may put the X or O in the square.  They must notate how they solved as well.

You can find all of these addition and subtraction games in my Guided Math Workshop Plans for 2nd grade.

A few weeks ago, we did some math operating in our homeschool 2nd grade math class! :)

And, ya'll, I wish we had worked on this much sooner!  My kid is a strong math thinker, who struggles with notation or showing/telling me how he figured out his answer.  His little brain works so fast that he has a hard time using the right language to explain his thinking.  That has been my main goal this year for him.  

I knew it was important for him to know and understand the 4 math operations, but I had no idea just HOW helpful it would be in giving him more math language to frame his thinking and ultimately write down his notation in a mathematical way.  

Sound familiar?  Here's a look at our week of math operations!

Introducing Math Operations

We kicked off the week introducing math operations.  I wrote the numbers 6 and 2 on the board and asked, "6 and 2 come to our math hospital.  There are 4 math operations that we can do with these numbers.  What's one thing we can do to 6 and 2?"

As we listed out the operations, we charted them.  We charted the symbol, the name of the operation, the sample equation, and keywords or phrases we use when performing that operation.

Once we worked through all 4 operations and compared and contrasted them, we read the digital book from my Guided Math Workshop Plans called, "Socks for Knox."

Each page has a different story problem type.  We read the problem and discussed which operation we should use and why.  The answer is less fact, that's why I used very low numbers.  I wanted him to think about the operation and not get caught up in the numbers.

Let's just take a moment to add that I really, *really*, wanted my 2nd grader to dress up in his old doctor outfits and pretend like we were performing surgery, but he wasn't having it.  #boys  This would make a super fun classroom transformation project though! :)

Math Operations Sort

In Guided Math Workshop, Mondays are mostly whole group days where most of the content is frontloaded and introduced.  Then, the rest of the week, kids work independently on the goals and content we learned on Monday.  They solve a new problem independently each day, play a hands on game with a partner, meet with a teacher in a small group to discuss their problem solving and work on a technology based game to practice the math skill from Monday.  You can read more about those routines here.

This week, our hands-on activity was an operations sort! We used the cards to sort symbols, equations, and stories into the 4 operation categories.

These cards can also be used to play memory!

Then, he did a cut and paste sort on his own.

All of this practice made a HUGE difference in his ability to show his strategies during problem-solving.  He was able to name the operation he needed to use and write his equation more easily.  

You can find all of these lesson plans and activities and more in my Guided Math Workshop Plans for 2nd Grade!

As we are all navigating how to homeschool our own children at home thanks to CoVid-19, I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to practice essential K-1 math skills at home that are so fun your kids will be begging to keep playing!

Even after this pandemic is over, these are great activities and routines to keep in mind for the summer time or any time you are at home with your littles to reinforce what they are learning at school.  I plan on sharing some of my favorite activities that are perfect for distance learning from home over the next few days (I blogged about reading and writing ideas here).  Let's start with math games today!

Many of these games are ones I used in my first grade classroom and are great for kindergarteners, 1st graders or struggling 2nd graders.  Most of them I've blogged about separately and will link the detailed post at the end of the quick description.  They can play with an adult or older sibling.  Some are independent activities.  They also can be easily extended for an on grade level 2nd grader.

Quarantined and not getting out of your house to buy materials? No problem!  All of these activities require nothing more than what you already have around your house!

War (Game of Compare)

WHO? Mostly kinder or first graders, partners

WHAT? A deck of cards

HOW?  Just play traditional war, but reinforce comparing words.  If you have a first grader, you can ask them to write the notation for the first 10 or so rounds. (Ex: 5 > 2)  You can take out the face value cards for younger kids if needed!

WHY?  Kinder and firsties need to understand quantities and how they compare to each other.  They need to be fluent with and understand words like greater than, equal to, less than, etc... This helps build their number sense and understand our number system that we use.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? Who has more?  How many more?  Who has fewer?  How many fewer? How do you know?

Read more details HERE.

Double War (Double Compare)

WHO? 1st graders or struggling 2nd graders (see how to adapt to use with 3-4th graders), partners

WHAT? A deck of cards

HOW?  It's the same as war, but you each draw 2 cards.  Add the 2 cards together and compare the sums.

Have older kids in 3rd or 4th grade?  Have them multiply the cards and compare the answers.

WHY?  It continues to build stronger number sense with comparing larger quantities.  It also practice fact fluency (or timed math facts if your district still uses that term).

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? Who has more?  How many more?  Who has fewer?  How many fewer?  How do you know?

SPECIAL NOTES? Try having your child lay down both cards and give you the sum.  Then, you lay down just one card.  Ask, "How many more do I need to have a greater sum than you?"  It's not necessary to do this every turn, but a good discussion to have a few times in the game.

Fact Family Card Game

WHO? 1st and 2nd graders, play alone or with partner

WHAT? A deck of cards using A-10 and Q (as a 0) cards only

HOW?  Deal a face down stack of 21 cards.  Turn over 4 cards at a time.  Look for a fact family.  Make a stack of a fact family when you find it.  If you don't find one, continue to draw one more card until you do.  Once you find a fact family, turn over more cards to have just 4 cards showing again.  The object is to have as few cards left over when you get "stuck" as possible.

WHY?  First graders need to know related facts to help them have more strategies for solving addition and subtraction problems.  It also builds fact fluency.

Read more details HERE.

Tens Go Fish Card Game

WHO? Kinders and 1st graders

WHAT? A deck of cards, A-10 and Q as a 0 cards only

HOW?  Play go fish, but a match is 2 cards that make 10 (9 and 1, 8 and 2, 7 and 3...)

WHY?  One of the kinder standards is to know the combinations of 10.  This is important because it helps kids add and subtract more quickly.  In first grade, this skill can help them regroup numbers to find a group of 10 or mentally add things like 8 + 7 by knowing that 8 + 2 is 10 plus 5 more is 15.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? I have ___, do you have a ___ to make 10?  I have ___. What do I need to make 10?  How do you know?

Read more details HERE.

Total of 10 Card Game

WHO? Kinder and 1st graders.  Can be extended for 2nd graders.  Play alone or with a friend.

WHAT? A deck of cards with A-10 and Q (as a 0) cards only

HOW?  Lay 20 cards down in a 4x5 array.  Find cards that make 10.  Remove the cards from the board.  Continue until you are stuck.  The goal is to have as few cards (or none) left as possible.  Combinations can be 2 cards or 3 or 4 cards...but let the kids figure that out.  It's fun to watch them figure that out!

WHY?  One of the kinder standards is to know the combinations of 10.  This is important because it helps kids add and subtract more quickly.  In first grade, this skill can help them regroup numbers to find a group of 10 or mentally add things like 8 + 7 by knowing that 8 + 2 is 10 plus 5 more is 15. It also helps them think more flexibly about 10 by finding 3 or 4 numbers that also combine to make 10.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? How many more do I need to make 10? How do you know?

Read more details HERE.

Board Games

WHO? Any age!

WHAT? any of your favorites.  I've listed my favorite ones for elementary kids HERE.

HOW?  Follow the directions given in the game :)

WHY?  Board games build problem solving skills and critical thinking skills.  Both of these skills transfer over into math problem solving.  You can read all of my reasons for playing board games in detail HERE.

Snack Math Stories

WHO? Preschool - 2nd grade or any age kid struggling with understanding math word problems

WHAT? pieces of snacks (goldfish, crackers, cheerios...anything that can be counted out)

HOW?  While you are serving lunch or a snack, practice oral math word problems.  The options are endless, but I'm going to give you some story frames that we use at our house that cover the math word problem standards for K, 1 and 2. These are examples, and you can add more details to the stories as you see fit.

Fill in the blanks with numbers.  Use these standards as guidelines...
K - numbers to 10
1st - numbers to 20
2nd - numbers to 100

*I will give you ___ goldfish.  Now, I'll give you ___ more goldfish.  How many goldfish do you have now?

*I gave you ___ goldfish, but you ate ___.  How many do you have now?  How many would you have if I ate ___ more of them?

*I gave you ___ goldfish.  How many more goldfish do I need to give you so that you have ___ goldfish?

*I'm giving you ___ yellow goldfish, ____ green goldfish and ___ red goldfish.  How many goldfish do you have in all?

*I gave you ____ goldfish.  How many goldfish do you need to eat before you have ___ goldfish left?

*I gave you some goldfish.  Now, I'll give you ___ more.  You have ___ goldfish altogether now.  How many did I give you to begin with?

*I gave you some goldfish.  You ate ___ of them.  Now you have ___ left.  How many did I give you to begin with?

*You have ___ goldfish.  Your sister has ___.  Who has more/less? How many more/less?

*You have____ goldfish.  Your sister has ___ fewer/more than you.  How many does your sister have?

*You have ____ cups.  You put ___ goldfish in each cup.  How many goldfish do you have in all?

*I have ___ goldfish.  I want to give them to ___ people.  How many can we each have to get a fair share?

*I have ___ goldfish.  I want to put them into cups.  Only ___ will fit in each cup.  How many cups do I need?

This is just the beginning of problems you could do!  Get creative!  The more problems you practice, the better the pay off!  The fun part is when I sneak it in to snack time or lunch or anything food or toys related, they willingly play along without realizing they are practicing math!

WHY?  It is important for kids to be able to comprehend a math story know what information the problem is giving them and what they need to solve for.  The goal with this activity is comprehension and discussion...not writing anything down!  When kids understand what a problem is asking them to do, it is MUCH easier for them to do the actual math.  The more casual, oral experiences they can have with this, the more it will help them.  Just like the more books you read to your child, the better they become at reading and understanding stories. 

Also, it is VERY important that you try out and practice all of these problem types...even with your kinders and some preschoolers!  Even though you might think they are too hard (because it's basically multiplication and division) you'll be surprised what your little can do when you put it in a math story and use food! :)

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? How did you figure that out?  (This is super important for kids to be able to do!  ALWAYS ask them to explain it to you. You'll be floored by their thinking!)

Telling Time

WHO? Kids of all ages

WHAT? digital and analog (old-fashioned) clock

HOW?  Just ask them to read the time to you.  All the time.  On a variety of clocks.  Give them a time limit to play or do a task.  "You can play on your iPad until 4:30.  Watch the clock on the ipad and stop at 4:30."  It's really that simple.  Just practice all the time.

WHY?  Telling time is a life skill and one that just needs repetition to perfect.  Kinders need to tell time to the hour (1:00, 2:00...) 1st graders must tell time to the hour and half-hour (1:30, 2:30...). And 2nd graders need to tell the time within 5 minutes (1:05, 1:10, 1:15...).  But any kid starting in kinder should be able to read any digital time.  Those time standards are mostly for analog times.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? What time is it?  What time will it be in an hour?  It's ___. You can play for an hour.  What time do you need to stop?

Counting Collections

WHO? Kinders, 1st graders and 2nd graders, done alone or with a friend

WHAT? anything you have in bulk at your house (pasta shells, q-tips, legos, blocks, beans, marshmallows, buttons, stickers....the sky is the limit!)

HOW?  Just count.  Counting collections is all about counting how many.  Count a set of legos ahead of time, hand them to your kid to count and tell them to let you know when they know how many!  Count by 1's, count by 10's, count by 100's, whatever they want to do.  But the goal is to eventually (at least by first grade) be putting things into groups of 10 to count by 10.  To extend this, have them record how they counted on a blank piece of paper or these recording sheets.  Here are the counting guidelines based on grade level.  But your kid should definitely practice counting above his/her grade level.

K - count to 100
1st - count to 120
2nd - count to 1000

WHY?  Counting is foundational for number sense.  Show me a kid who can't add or subtract well, they probably can't count well.  Counting in kinder develops one to one correspondence (pointing as they count) which develops the idea that each item means one more in the counting sequence.  As counting develops, kids learn they can count in groups of ten and begin organizing their collections into groups of 10.  This builds base 10 understanding (place value) and skip counting.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? How many ____ do you have?  HOW DID YOU COUNT?  Can you count it a different way?  Can you count it a faster way?

Read more details HERE.

More Free Resources

Looking for more free printables and resources to help your K-2 kids with math that take little or no prep?  Check out these FREE resources by clicking on each picture to download them.
True False Equations FREEBIE!  St. Patrick's Day FREEBIE  Hundreds Chart Puzzle FREEBIE
Valentine's Day Math Worksheets: FREEBIE  Christmas Counting FREEBIE
Do your kids struggle with finding this missing addend or part part whole?  I love this easy game to help kindergarteners and first graders practice finding the missing part in a fun and engaging way! Feel free to share this blog post with parents as this is a super easy game to play at home to reinforce what you are doing at school!

Materials You Need

My favorite math games are the ones that are no prep!  All you need for Counters in a Cup is exactly that--counters and cups!

Any cups that aren't clear or see through will work.  I've used styrofoam and red Solo cups before and both work great!

The two sided-counters work great for this because they fit easily in the cup.  But any small thing you have in your room will work.  And if you are a parent wanting to play this at home, here are some great things to use...
  • beans
  • buttons
  • legos

Anything small that you can fit 20 or so of them in a cup will work!  I'll be showing this game with buttons because they are just so fun and cute!

How To Play

To play Counters in a Cup, students need to be in partners (or parent-child, brother-sister if you are at home).

Player 1 puts a set number of counters in the cup.  I usually tell my first graders to put somewhere between 11 and 20 counters in.  They say, "I put ___ counters in the cup."

Then, player 1 spills out some counters.  Player 1 and/or 2 count the counters that spilled.  Player 1 says, "___ counters spilled out.  How many counters are in my cup?" and covers up the cup.

Player 2 solves the missing addend or part of the story and tells they answer.  Then, Player 1 empties the cup for them to check!

Then, both players record their missing parts!  Here are some examples when I played with my own kiddo!

***Off Topic...kinda...check out that amazing notation from my kindergartner.  I was one proud momma when I asked him to explain how he got 11 so fast and he went to writing out the notation! And, nope, other than help with a few blog posts, we don't work on this at home.  So BIG shout out to his kindergarten teacher and Arkansas' push to get kids fluently solving problems and explaining their thinking!!***

Differentiating Counters in a Cup

Another reason I love this game is because it's easy to differentiate and change up depending on your kiddos!

In first grade, I sometimes assign a certain number between 11 and 20.  Other times, I give different sets of partners a different number.  My low babies work on numbers below 10.  And my higher math thinkers work on more than 20 counters in their cup.

During my long-term sub job in kinder, we used this same game to help build missing parts and making combinations of a number.  For example, when we were working on ways to make 10, everyone used only 10 counters in their cup and spilled a different combination of 10 each time.

The kinder team I worked with played a similar game and used colored bears and called in Bears in a Cave!  Same game with a different name!

You can find the plans for this game, how I use it in my classroom, and the recording sheet with my Guided Math Workshop Plans!
The past several months, I've been a long-term sub in kindergarten for a girl on maternity leave.  And this little space has suffered just a bit. #realtalk

But I'm back today and blogging about one of my favorite math games for decomposing two-digit numbers into tens and ones and how I modified this game for kindergarten when we were working with teen numbers!

What Materials Do I Need?

I love Roll It, Build It, Break It because it's very easy to do "on the fly."  In first grade, I could pull out this game when another lesson was bombing or if I needed a last minute sub plans idea.  It's easy to play, and I guarantee you have everything you need right in your classroom!

All you need are dice, Unifix or pop cubes, and a recording sheet or dry erase board!

This game can be played independently, with partners, or as a whole group.  I love the flexibility of this game and I love that it's one I can give my kids choice on if they want to play with a friend or alone.

How Do I Play?

Let's chat about the basic game rules for decomposing 2-digit numbers (first grade version).  Students roll one or two dice at a time.  Each time they roll, they build a cube tower by adding that many cubes.  For example, if I roll a 6 first, I put six cubes together.  Then, if I roll a 3 next, I'll add 3 more cubes to my tower.

Have students roll a set number of times (usually 10 to 20 times is a good number). Sometimes it's easier to lay it flat with so many cubes!

Once kids have rolled the set number and built their tower or train, it's time to break the tower or train into groups of tens.  Students will find and break as many groups of tens as they can and leave the remaining ones.

Then, they will count the tens and ones to see how big their train was.  Finally, they will record their number by writing the numeral and drawing the tens and ones on their dry erase board or recording sheet.

How Can I Differentiate This Game?

If you have struggling counters, have them just use one die or roll fewer times.  For your strong counters, have them roll 30 times before breaking and then have them find groups of 100s after grouping the tens.

In kindergarten, we used this for decomposing teens into 10 and some more.  We played whole group so that I could make sure we were building a teen number.  I rolled the dice on our projector and the kids added the cubes to their train.  When we got to a teen number, I had the kids break the cubes to find a group of ten.  Then, we counted the number, "10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16."  We wrote the numeral together on dry erase boards and then I had them draw a picture of the tens and ones on their boards.

You can find the directions, I Can cards and recording sheets in my Primary Math Games Packet.  And you can also find this game's lesson plan in my full year of first grade Guided Math Workshop Lesson Plans!

Back to Top