“Mom ! Could we play that game again?”.

Over Summer, *Rosie*, my 6 year old daughter has enjoyed exploring the decimal system and operations playing with the Base-Ten blocks (see my previous post here if you want to know more about these blocks).

Since she asked me to play our latest game *first* thing in the morning, it is probably worth sharing it. So here I am.

**Material:**

- Base-Ten blocks (I usually use eNasco (website here) when I order math-related material, but you can find these Base-Ten blocks on Amazon as well). Each player gets:
- 1 Hundred (a plate of 100 Units, also called Flat),
- 10 Tens ((a bar of 10 Units called Rod or Long),
- 10 Ones (little cubes called Units)

- Die 0 to 9 (I love fancy dice, you can find them online (eNasco !), at a children’s store, etc, for 20-50 cents each). You can otherwise make a deck of 10 cards, numbered from 0 to 9.

**How to play** : Here come Woody and Buzz again for the demonstration !

- Both Woody and Buzz have a
*Hundred*in front of them. They get 10*Tens*, and 10*Ones*. The goal? Covering the*Hundred*by adding*Ones*and*Tens*. - Woody starts. He rolls the die/draws a card. He gets a 4. He adds 4
*Ones*to start covering his*Hundred*. - It is Buzz’s turn. He gets a 3. He adds 3
*Ones*on his*Hundred*.

- It is Woody’s turn. He gets a 7. Let’s the fun begin ! He uses his 6
*Ones*left to go to 10, trades the 10*Ones*for a*Ten*. And add 1 more*One*to make 11.

- And so on until Buzz and Woody cover their Hundred.

**What I like about the game :**

- It gives
*Rosie*plenty of opportunities to explore addition with a result reaching the next Ten. “e.g. I have 7, I get 6, I need 3 to reach 10. And add 3 more.” - The game can be played at several levels
- practicing adding Ones and trading 10 Ones for a Ten, without formally keeping track of how many blocks are covering the Hundred
- modeling the addition of two 1-digit numbers and the addition of a 1-digit number to a 2 digit number
- adding numbers mentally, then checking the answer with the blocks
- connecting each turn to an equation – Ex: 8 + 9 = 8 + 2 + 7 = 10 + 7 = 17

- It gives
*me*plenty of opportunities to model and express what I am doing, even if I do not expect*Rosie*to do so at this point with upper numbers. By the way, I like to call these blocks*Ones*,*Tens*, or*Hundreds*, instead of Units, Rods, and Flats. I think it helps Rosie learn the nomenclature of the decimal system.- “Let me count how many Ones I have at this point. I have 3 Tens, it means 10, 20, 30 Ones, and I have 5 more Ones, so I have 35 Ones total !”
- “I have 35, I get 8, if I decompose 8 into 5 + 3, I reach 40, and add 3 more. I have 43 !”

- It can be adapted to a cooperative game, if you want to avoid to have a winner and a loser. Both players work together, taking turns, and see if they can cover the Hundred in less than 20 turns, for instance.
- On a side note,
*Rosie*said at one point : “That’s funny, it is*actually*easier to add numbers when you are in the 20s or 30s, than when you are in the 10s. You have 24, you can really hear the*4*, so you know you need 6 to reach 30 ! But with 12, or 13, you don’t hear the 2 or the 3. It is hard !”. Now, how could I have guessed she would ever say that?

Gotta go ! Gotta play, again !

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