Years ago, I was introduced to a math board game called Number Rings. It’s one of my favorite math games for middle school. I have to say that there is no tool that I use more frequently for math drills. It’s a game that grows with your kids.
Math Facts Practice
The math program we use puts a lot of emphasis on subject mastery. This means that my kids need to be able to quickly solve basic equations, like 2+2 and 8-6, before moving on to the next set of skills. I love this approach, however, it does entail an awful lot of review, which can get very boring.
I’ve tried worksheets and flashcards (yawn!).
Now, instead of looking at Number Rings as a fun math game to play occasionally, I use it regularly to help with this repetitive review.
To begin the game, every person chooses a section of the board, which has the numbers 1-18 in a specific color, and the corresponding colored rings. The goal is to place a ring around all of your numbers before your opponents do, by rolling three dice.
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Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division
What makes this game so wonderful is that once you roll your dice, you choose which math function(s) you are going to use.
If your child is working on addition, use addition facts to cover your numbers. If your child has moved all the way through division, then let them use any and all math functions to come up with their final numbers.
For example, let’s say I roll a 2, 4 and 5.
- I can use addition and cover 11 (2 + 4 + 5 = 11).
- I can add two of the numbers, (4 + 5 = 9) and cover 9 and 2.
- I can use multiplication and subtraction to cover 18 (4 x 5 = 20 – 2 = 18).
- I can use division and multiplication to cover 10 (4 ÷ 2 = 2 x 5 =10).
I love that Number Rings helps with mental math and makes kids think on their feet!
When you start playing, usually you’re only focused on putting rings on your own numbers.
Once your kids are ready, you can add another layer to the game – offensive strategy.
You can start putting your marker on an opponent’s side. This means that when I roll my dice, I can place a ring around an opponent’s number instead of my own. Then they will have to roll the same number combination to get my ring off and roll it another time to put theirs on.
As I said, Number Rings is a game that grows with your kids!
Math is fun! Do you use games to work on math concepts and skills?