Teacher Tip Tuesday- No Prep Math Games

I may need to make this a category on the blog, since there are no many math games you can play with a deck of cards. No prep math games are my favorite! Today, on IGTV I shared a few variations of math games that can be played with K-2 learners. I surveyed you on stories, and it seems like the majority still carry around a ‘mom bag’. My suggestion is to throw a standard deck of cards in there for games on the go.

Easy Games to Play With a Deck of Cards

All of these games can be played with two people and a deck of cards.

  • Comparing Numbers: As you saw on my IGTV video, you can start by drawing one card each and comparing the numbers. A progression of the game would be to each draw two cards (or even three) , add the numbers together, and compare.
  • >, <, =: Start by writing all three signs on a small piece of papers. If you’re at a restaurant, you can use a paper napkin. Each player draws a card from the deck. Have your child select the correct sign to compare the numbers. A progression of this game would be adding two cards (or even three), add the numbers together, and select the correct sign.
  • Ordering Numbers: I didn’t mention this on my IGTV, but I wanted to add this activity in. Have your child draw 4 cards and practice ordering the numbers from least to greatest and vice versa. A progression of this game could be adding two cards and then ordering.

A Few Tips to Remember

  • Be sure to have your child practice using math language- “greater than” “less than” “equal”. Challenge them to explain what “equal” means. Remind your child that it simply means “is the same as”.
  • Notice how your child is adding the numbers together and ask him/her to explain. Are they counting all of the items on the card to get the total? Are they counting on from the larger number? Maybe your child can quickly make a generalization about the numbers and use that to determine the total. Ask her to explain their strategy! In school, we ask the children to articulate their thinking. It is great practice to talk about it at home.
  • Have fun!

As I mentioned last week, Teacher Tip Tuesday is meant to be a collaborative effort. If you are a teacher, parent, or caregiver- please share your ideas. I always love hearing from you and our community grows better when we share our ideas together. I also want to note that I totally goofed last week and said I’ve been teaching for 12 years. My husband, who has been teaching for 12, kindly had to remind me it’s only been 11 years. Life I said last week, ‘Time flies when you’re having fun.” Thanks for stopping by!

2 thoughts on “Teacher Tip Tuesday- No Prep Math Games

  1. I JUST bought a deck of cards finally for my rising first grader because so many K activities online suggested using them as a manipulative. These are great ideas!

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