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Subject: Top Dogs with students rss

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Steve Oliver
United States
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Top Dogs is a game that I bring each week for the 5th graders (10 years old) to play as one of our math games. They enjoy the graphics and theme, and the basic addition and multiplication is good practice for them.

Since I usually have 2 games going at once, and I was needed at the other game to explain it, I asked one of the five students to explain the game to the rest of his group. He griped, "Awww, I played this last week, do I have to play it??" at which point he was presented with the alternative (worksheets) and decided to explain the game after all. As it turns out, he did an outstanding job of explaining the rules.

About mid-game, I asked him why he didn't want to play it, and he said, "I always get the bad deck." I reminded him that all the decks are the same, which he hadn't remembered from when he learned the game, and his outlook on the game improved quite a bit and he ended up coming a close second place.

One of the students who was new to the game hadn't won any trophies by the end of the first half, so another student explained about holding onto her high cards for a couple of hands to build up a good racing team. She did, and won a trophy to avoid a shut-out and was very pleased with herself.

There is a lot to like about this game. The basic math is very good practice, the students enjoy it, and they all feel like they have a good chance to win at least one of the trophies. This game is also one of the games that gets played every week at the game club, where they can pick any of the games, so that's high praise for a math game that it gets picked.

The winner's final score was 36.
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