Monday, March 4, 2019

1-2 Nim (Videos included)

I don't fully understand the name of this game called 1-2 Nim, but I understand how much my mathematicians enjoy it. I also understand how much it helps develop not only their mathematical minds, but their love for math.

(I learned it from Dan Finkle who provided a math games webinar on Christina Tondevold's Build Math Minds site. Please consider following her work if you're an elementary math teacher.)

• Grab a partner and a collection of counters. (I use cubes, but it really doesn't matter.)
• A player has to take 1 counter on his turn but can take 2 if he chooses.
• The player who takes the last counter wins.

Ways to change it up:

• Use more counters.
• Play 1-2-3 Nim. (The player can take 1, 2, or 3 counters on his turn.)
• Poison: The player who takes the last counter loses.
• Use a ten frame. The player who puts the final counter in the ten frame wins.

My kids have the stamina to play this game and its variations for a good while. Though simple to play, it's so engaging. It's easy and fun enough for kids to teach family members at home too.

Here are two videos of 1-2-3 Nim in action. Enjoy. :)

Give Nim a shot, and don't be surprised if a little person beats you a time or two! (Not that I would know anything about that.)

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Stand Up, Sit Down

When the children cheer at the mention of a game, you know it's a good one. I learned Stand Up, Sit Down from Dan Finkle when he offered a math games webinar on Christina Tondevold's site, Build Math Minds. (If you're an elementary math teacher, you should be following Christina's work.)

Stand Up, Sit Down is basically a quick mathematical brain break. It sounds so simple that it almost seems impossible that my students love it so much. Tis true though.

• The teacher picks a number.
• The teacher then states other numbers one at a time.
• If the numbers are above the original number, the students stand.
• If the numbers are below that number, the students sit.

For example:

T: 9 is my number.
T: 4
S: sit
T: 14
S: stand

It's that simple.

But wait, there are variations.

• Choose a smaller or larger first number.
• State the numbers in the form of an equation. (ie. 4+4, 8-1)
• Play the game with multiplication, division, fractions...

Give this one a try. Maybe your students will end up cheering too.

Thanks Dan and Christina!