Sunday, February 24, 2013

ThinkFun-Analysis: The Math Dice Family

Yes, I am a gamer.

I love games.  I love educational games.  And unless I need quiet time, I really don't like the electronic ones.  They are like kid crack. Of course, if it is old school Mario on the 80s Nintendo (yes, we still have one), then that is a different story.

But I recently purchased some great games, including Math Dice and Math Dice Jr.
Boog is a mathematician.  He is great with numbers. He loves mental math so it is right up his alley.  Roll the dodecahedron dice, the ones with 12 sides and multiply the numbers.  Then roll the other three standard dice and come up with equations that match.  In any way, shape or form. Add, subtract, multiply, divide, exponents, etc...
This can be awesome for game nights for dorky adults, me included as well as homework enhancers, classroom stations or events.  I was even blessed with receiving the Math Dice Tournament Kit from ThinkFun for free to try out.  It has enough dice sets and games for 16-18 students. One of my 4th grade teachers said it reminded him of a game called 24 that he learned as a kid when he grew up in China.

But I couldn't leave out Mudge. So I picked up the Math Dice Jr. too.  And even though he is a new 5 year old, he picked up on the basic adding and subtraction, with some assistance.   It was fun and they wanted to play multiple rounds, which is a testament to the game.  I did ask ThinkFun if they have or will have a classroom tournament kit for the Jr. version too, because this would be a great center addition! Still waiting to hear....

Math Dice is rated for 8 and up.
Math Dice Jr. is rated 6 and up.
Math Dice Tournament kit is targeted 5th grade and up.

There are different ways you can adapt it.  First, use paper and pencil. Take turns. Teach calculator skills. Use teams.  Keep score.  Or Don't.  You know your kids, your students, and yourself.  Grade and challenge the games based on your ability, versus your age.  It is a great way to keep your mind multiplying its neural pathways :)

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