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Subject: Good game with math for 1st graders? rss

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M Hellyer
United States
Aurora
Illinois
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My wife is a grade school teacher. She has a pull-out group of 10 1st graders for an hour every morning. These kids are bright and are finishing the year's curriculum up almost 2 weeks early. I've played games with her various classes over the years, but none as young as 1st grade and none with math/arithmetic involved. Would you know of a fun game for at least 5 to play at a time for bright 1st graders with some numbers/math involved? Thanks!
 
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Rami Finkelshtein
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Off the top of my head (and just as I am about to go to sleep)

No Thanks! comes to mind. Its addition and understanding consecutive numbers. It should be simple enough (if they can add up to 100, i already forget what they teach in grade 1 these days)
 
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You could play LCR - they could practice adding and subtracting the chips, and saying how many they have. You could ask them to look around and say who has the most and least (minor variants like that, and they'd get to roll dice). Pretty interactive and pretty darn cheap.
 
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Jeremy Brown
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I recommend Incan Gold. This is essentially a push your luck game with math. The math is division yet it is very simple, essentially just dividing gems by the number of players remaining in each room. I have found it to be useful as a teaching game for kids because they can visually work out how division with remainders work. I play this quite a bit with the kids I work with; they love being in charge of determining how many gems everyone gets.

Pickomino is also a great game to play with kids. This certainly involves math, in particular addition. In this game, you are adding numbers on the dice in order to acquire different valued tiles. Very simple and very fun.

Both of these are games that I think kids would find a lot of fun, are not beyond the skill level of the kids you are asking on behalf of, and can be played a number of times within an hour.
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I don't know about "fun", but I have a copy of ADDO that's yours for the price of shipping

A game that I liked in Jr. High was Equations, but you might be able to "dumb it down" by removing roots, exponents, etc.

You can also do an advanced game search & check the category "math". There's quite a few titles, but maybe a couple will catch your eye and you can investigate them.


 
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Kent Reuber
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Reiner Knizia is a mathematician and many of his games reflect this.

Friday the 13th is a game I've recently rediscovered because it's been ported to the iPhone. Players play cards to a set of cauldrons. Any time the value of the cauldron exceeds 13, players have to take the cauldron's cards, which count against them. Poison can accommodate 3-6 players.

Kingdoms (reimplemented by Beowulf: The Movie Board Game). Players play tiles and tokens to a board and gain points for the highest sum of the row and column multiplied by the value of their figure. Sadly, this accommodates only 2-4 players.


 
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Jeremy Brown
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Atlanteon is another addition-based game by Reiner Knizia. I cannot recommend it as a particularly fun game (well, for me anyhow), though it is useful if the aim is to practice basic math using board games.

Edit: just realized this doesn't meet your criteria for accommodating 5 players.
 
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Can't Stop four dice, combining two sets to move up your pieces
Toss Up! ten dice, keeping rolling and counting until you decide to save the points
Sleeping Queens math equations to trade cards for active ones
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bran mcmillin
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I home school my oldest daughter and one of the games we play is Zendo. We don't have the game itself, but we use playing cards and coins. Sometimes the patterns involve the amount of money the coins are worth, or the value of the cards, etc.

She seems to like it really well.
 
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Lauge Rosendahl
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6 nimmt! teaches the numbers to 110 and is fun for a large group.

Some first graders aren't that strong in numbers, but if they're bright, and you cut all cards above 100, I think it could be a good choice.
 
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Mary T.
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I'll second Can't Stop. Also, I recommend Frog Juice, another Gamewright game in which you can pick up cards by using two cards that add up to the number you want to pick up. Not that highly rated, but I had fun playing it with my little sister when I was in college and she was in grade school.
 
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Gertrude McFuzz

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I'm no mathmatician, but on several recent threads very similar to this mathmaticians have pointed out that games which inspire logical thinking, or require visual-spatial skills, deduction, and/or set collection are as valuable, if not more valuable mathamatically than number crunching games.

I have a bright first grader who is good at math, and based on my experience with him, I think you would have real success with Blokus and/or Blokus 3D for visual-spatial skills (and it fits my son's curriculum, since they spend some time on shapes). If you have multiple copies, Mastermind or Mastermind for Kids is a fun exercise in deduction, and kids this age do enjoy it. Kids this age also seem to like other abstracts like Hey, That's My Fish!, and there's a lot of mathamatical thinking involved in games like this. I'd recommend searching for those threads to get further advice.
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Konrad Anft
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Numbers League: Adventures in Addiplication comes to mind.

It is a game solely based on adding and subtracting... but you may need to take the multipliers out.
 
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Sue Hemberger

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Number Chase
Cowabunga or Fettnapf... in Sicht (aka Les pieds dans le plat!at www.levalet.com)
Can't Stop (pair kids up to play in teams)
Fliegen klatschen
Diamant or Incan Gold



 
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Big Kat
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I teach 1st/2nd grade Sunday School and get to play a lot of large group games with young kids. I also used to run game groups for my son's class when he was in Kindergarten. Here are some suggestions:

Yahtzee Free for All - You have to add up your dice to figure out if your set beats another persons set. Plays up to 6 people. Doesn't take very long.

Three of a Crime - No arithmetic, but you have to use logic/deduction.

Gumball Rally - Math would not be very hard for a first grader. It's basically greater than/less than using numbers from 1 to 10. But it supports a big group (up to 8), plays pretty quickly (you can adjust the game length by changing where the finish line card it), and all the kids I've played it with have like it.

Number Chase - Plays up to five kids. There's a secret number that they have to guess. Based on their guesses, they'll get different clues like 'It's greater than 47' or 'It has a 5 in it' or 'It's an even number'. Then they use those clues to narrow down their guesses until they get it right.

 
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M Hellyer
United States
Aurora
Illinois
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Thanks, everyone, for all the very helpful recommendations and comments. I'm not familiar with most of these games and will be checking into them the next couple days. I'll let you know how things turn out. Thanks again!!
 
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Martha Merry
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You should also try 1-2-3 OY! by Dream Green. 10 different card games that you can adapt to any age level or ability and uses addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or any combination of them. Excellent for mental math skills.
 
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Alan Monroe
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Zeus on the Loose
 
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