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Subject: Suggestions for math games for 1st grader? rss

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Thomas Heaney
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One of my sons is now in first grade (6 and a half years old), and his reading skills are very good, but he's having problems getting a handle on math concepts. (For example, he isn't able to just look at a group of objects and "see" how many there are; he has to count them, "1, 2, 3, 4. There are 4.")

Does anyone have ideas or suggestions on games for kids that at least mildly fun, have counting/number-groups and some basic adding and subtracting? (We already do Hi Ho Cherry Oh, and Chutes and Ladders with a die.) Anything involving animals (especially sea animals) would be even better! Thanks.
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Davido
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Sleeping Queens -basic addition, matching pairs, some cards with special effects.
Zeus on the Loose - slightly more advanced, but accessible to most 2nd/3rd graders. more emphasis on power cards, addition/subtraction, basic rounding up to 100.

Rat-a-Tat Cat -more of a bluffing game, but emphasizes comparisons/greater than/less than aspect of basic numbers


Krypto - Klassic uses all 4 basic math functions, but you might be able make it work w/ addition/subtraction or wait a year or so.

Pick to Click now-Sleeping Queens
like regular cards, the number cards have objects that can be counted. The other games don't. Another plus for Sleeping Queens. Check the gallery for pix/examples to see if it would work for your son.
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Andy Van Zandt
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Marrakesh

also, my gf (a kindergarten teacher), plays "More" to teach them addition- it's "War" with the face cards removed, but each player gets 2 cards, and the kid has to add the cards together and tell you who wins.
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Tony C
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Maybe Snow Tails? It doesn't have a lot of the grouping, but it does have adding/subtracting.
My boy was about 6 1/2 when we first played Beowulf the Movie game. It has a good bit of math (again, no grouping/counting, but lots of adding and subtracting). Apparently it's based on Kingdoms but has a (not very necessary) movie tie-in and a couple new themed tiles.
 
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Let's Play Two!
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Sleeping Queens and Rat a Tat Cat are excellent suggestions and have worked great for us too. We also love Zeus on the Loose, but as the other poster said, probably better with slightly older kids.

Some others we've enjoyed:

Zitternix (dexterity) and Pick Picknic have been fun games where at the end you have to add up the value of your colored sticks (Zitternix) or cubes (pick picknic). Both have helped my daughter learn to add in her head.

Rack-O - good for sequencing numbers

Friday the 13th - adding up to 13 while trying not to go over.

Gopher It! and Duck, Duck, Bruce - both push-your-luck games with some adding involved. Both games have both numbers and objects printed on the cards to help with the adding.

Double Shutter - good for figuring out different combinations of numbers that can add up to the same total.

24/7: The Game, Cowabunga, Numbers League: Adventures in Addiplication - all probably for slightly older kids, but all are mathy games my 8 y.o. enjoys.

Have fun!
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Rebekah B
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For quickly identifying number groups, Blink could work well. You can handicap it by giving him fewer cards. Walk the Dogs uses number groups in a very concrete way, although it might be a little more basic than what you need.

If it's still difficult for him to recognize number groups, I might avoid games that assign different values to an item for now. For example, Pick Picknic is great for using math (I used it with my own kids), but the different values of the color cubes might make it harder for him to develop number grouping. Of course, you can always just make all the cubes worth 1 for now. Once his skills are a little stronger, games like Pick Picknic, Zitternix, and Treasure Falls can help him move into more abstract thinking about numbers.

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Billy McBoatface
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Sleeping Queens is best, no doubt. It teaches addition of the numbers 1 through 10. I don't care for it much as a game (other kids games are more fun for the adult), but it's the best addition drill for that age that I've seen.

I also used Lost Cities with this variant:
* Take out all handshake cards
* Use a hand of 6

Then I would make her total up her own scores, including substracting the 20 points for each color she started. That worked well, and by the end of 1st grade she was playing with the handshake cards and computing the doubles, triples, and quadruples by herself!
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Davido
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q="Cubsfan31"]
Friday the 13th - adding up to 13 while trying not to go over.

[/q]

My wife doesn't like Poison's "theme" for my 6 y.o. daughter. I'm considering (and the OP might also) the 'rethemed' version called Baker's Dozen (it's under the same link/GameID as Poison)
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Billy McBoatface
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Oh! Right! Poison is great for a 1st grader. We have Baker's Dozen and the theme works well. The round cards are also easier to shuffle than you might expect (but still not quite as easy as rectangular cards).
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John W
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theaney wrote:
One of my sons is now in first grade (6 and a half years old), and his reading skills are very good, but he's having problems getting a handle on math concepts. (For example, he isn't able to just look at a group of objects and "see" how many there are; he has to count them, "1, 2, 3, 4. There are 4.")
I'm no early childhood educator (I'll ask my wife, who is), but as far as I know, him having to count the individual objects in a group of 4 is not "having a problem with math" - that's completely normal, for ages even above his.

Oh - and I agree that Sleeping Queens is fantastic for practicing kid's adding, 1 through 10.
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J. Atkinson
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I have had great success with my 6 year old daughter (almost seven now in Jan) playing quite a few games such as...

Ticket to Ride - here you are grouping routes based on color and number, and collecting tickets to complete them.

Catan - you have to add up the right resources to build the items you want and of course count the die numbers on rolls.
 
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Andy Van Zandt
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actually, my understanding is that fast grouping of objects is a core skill.

and it can quickly become a problem- the basis of most math that we use (both for tests in school and in real life) hinges on our ability to quickly assess small groups of objects. This is a form of "chunking" data (which gets extended to things like "which numbers add up to 10" and multiplication tables), combining smaller ideas into one larger aspect for ease of manipulation. while counting 1, 2, 3 is ok at the low end, when you deal with double and triple digit numbers, and even moreso when you start doing more than addition and subtraction, counting things one at a time will be slower than is deemed acceptable.

i know i was doing triple digits and multiplication in 2nd grade or so, and i was surprised to find that almost everything i learned in every grade is now expected to be taught 1 to 2 years earlier than when i was a kid.

(also, I applaud the fact that Thomas is taking an active role in his child's education. More people need to 1: read to their kids and 2: play games with their kids)
 
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Steve Bennett
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Jukem Football was created to help the designer's kids with math. You're trying to create scoring drives of exactly 100 yards. You have run cards and pass and catch cards of varying multiples of 5. There's a little more to it than that, but you get the idea.

I'm not sure if that's first-grade stuff or not. It's been a long time since I've had a first grader. Seems about right, though.
 
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Mike Kollross
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For numer/pattern/color recognition Blink is pretty good
 
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Scott Slomiany
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Rat-a-tat-cat is highly recommended for basic higher/lower skills, from both me, my wife, grandparents, etc,and our 1st grader (the 4 year old is slowly grasping it). It's actually a pretty amazing game that can be played across the full spectrum of age groups without ever having a need to dumb it down.

Also, as far as simple math goes but also for basic money changing, my daughter is enjoying Monopoly Jr.
 
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Gertrude McFuzz

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I agree that Blink is a great way to encourage speedy grouping of small numbers. I would think that some games with dominoes would also really help improve those skills among larger number groupings (only if the dominoes do not use different colors to distinguish between different numbers). I am not experienced with the different games you can play, but I have read about several of them which sound enjoyable, like 42 and Mexican Train.

I know these are not games, but I think the Kumon workbook series and the Usborne big book of sticker math are really excellent as well.
 
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Matthew Jones
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I'm afraid it doesn't meet your animals requirements, but Powerboats has fun and funky 3 sided dice which you roll to get how many spaces you move. You can add or remove a dice per turn. That requires addition as your first die shows 3 and your second shows 2 and you add them together to get your speed. It's a great little race game. Dominoes is another great one, but has already been recommended. Once he gets to 2nd/3rd grade level, 24/7: The Game is another good game for addition.

Don't despair about the counting bit. It is not necessarily an ingrained thing to be able to look at a group and get the right number. It's a skill that has to be taught and practiced for some kids who don't just "get it" as do all skills in life. Keep working with him and playing these games, they're the best way to sneak in, er--I mean teach--the math.


theaney wrote:
One of my sons is now in first grade (6 and a half years old), and his reading skills are very good, but he's having problems getting a handle on math concepts. (For example, he isn't able to just look at a group of objects and "see" how many there are; he has to count them, "1, 2, 3, 4. There are 4.")

Does anyone have ideas or suggestions on games for kids that at least mildly fun, have counting/number-groups and some basic adding and subtracting? (We already do Hi Ho Cherry Oh, and Chutes and Ladders with a die.) Anything involving animals (especially sea animals) would be even better! Thanks.
 
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Matthew Jones
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truekid wrote:
actually, my understanding is that fast grouping of objects is a core skill.


All of truekid's points are very true. I simply want to point out an important piece of the first sentence. It is a skill, not a given thing that a kid should simply understand or "get" (like object permanence) As a skill, it can and should be practiced frequently. And, as Truekid aptly points out, games are the best way to do it!!!
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Tim Seitz
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truekid wrote:
i know i was doing triple digits and multiplication in 2nd grade or so, and i was surprised to find that almost everything i learned in every grade is now expected to be taught 1 to 2 years earlier than when i was a kid.

LOL. So Kindergarteners are doing triple-digit multiplication nowadays?! My kids must be retarded then.
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Andy Van Zandt
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-almost everything.
-ONE to two years earlier.

my understanding is most kindergarten standards are double-digit numbers, addition and subtraction. depending on your school and state, 1st grade tends towards multiplication, and triple digit numbers (but not necessarily together- the whole "carry the 1" thing probably pushes the complexity level a bit much).



edit to add: for example, i was barely/sort of taught the alphabet in kindergarten, and very specifically remember being taught reading in 2nd grade (because i was looking forward to it so much). today, kindergarteners are usually expected to manage very simple sentences by the end of the year (and advanced ones can handle chapter books).
 
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David Thompson
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Re: Math games for first graders
Fettnapf... in Sicht (reimplemented by Cowabunga) has players add and subtract one digit numbers to numbers between 10 and 30. It's good for mental math skills and can be played (according to the rules) with a memory component as well. My daughter enjoyed it quite a bit.
 
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Why not use Villa Paletti? See how many blocks the child can stack. When they fall over, count the number he/she was able to stack...simple use of manipulatives, and fun (kids love to stack stuff and knock it down...)
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Tim Seitz
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I use food with my 4 yo. Chicken McNuggets work great. M&Ms or Skittles work even better.
 
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john guthrie
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what about Numbers League: Adventures in Addiplication?
 
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Hello Thomas! My name is Michelle and my husband designed Jukem Football to help our own children build their math skills.

Teachers we know who work with 1st grade students talk about what they call "number sense." This attached website was developed by fifth year students in the Mathematics Education program at the University of Virginia. It offers a good explanation of what they mean by that:

http://www.teacherlink.org/content/math/interactive/probabil...

We designed Jukem Football for our own son when he was a first grader. Originally, it was all about creating something that was based on a topic he and his dad both loved. We wanted it to be something that would be educational, but still challenging and fun for him and the rest of the family as well.

The recommended age was raised to 8 and up when we expanded the game this past year to include more challenging cards. The game supports development of number sense through repetitive counting by 5's and 10's and focusing on adding up to exactly 100.

Since Steve (above) has played it, he knows that there's more to the game for adults and older children, but for the beginner, it can be boiled down to matching and 5's and 10's counting with a little help from a parent.

Jukem Football is a great math game to grow with. As a child develops those core skills, new challenges and opportunities present themselves in the game with regard to critical thinking, decision-making, teamwork and planning ahead.

You've had some great responses to this thread. I hope the information I've shared here is helpful. I have to say, I agree with the previous poster who said it sounds like your son is at an age-appropriate level of development. Children often develop skills on different schedules from what is considered average.

I'm sorry our game doesn't have animals, although, some might argue that our big football guy featured on the "pancake block" card looks like an animal! My boys love that card mainly because it says "pancake" on it. :-D
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