Saturday, August 12, 2017

What's My Number?

What's My Number? is a game I've played with my students that improves their number sense and allows for time to practice reading multi-digit numbers.

Every September I would make it a point to start off the year by making sure that my students could read a multi-digit numbers correctly. You would think by 5th grade that this would not be an issue. But it IS! It's not just an issue for 5th graders. Watch the news on any given night and you can hear a news anchor read a number incorrectly. The most common mistake in reading a multi-digit number - saying "and".  How many times have you heard someone say "one hundred and one" for the number 101? It drives me crazy!!! (By the way, 101 is read "one hundred one")

It's important to get your students to understand that they should only say "and" when they come to a decimal point as in one hundred and one tenth (100.1) or one hundred and one hundredth (100.01).

My favorite way to practice this concept is by playing "What's My Number?"

Here's how it works: Each student gets a game sheet. The teacher rolls a ten sided die and calls out the number. The students must then write the number on one of the nine lines. Once the number is placed it can't be erased/moved. The teacher continues rolling and calling out the numbers. The object of the game is to create the largest number. This is where the strategy/number sense comes in. Most know they should put the 8's and 9's as far left as possible and the 1's and 2's on the right. But what about the 4's and 5's? It is great to see how their strategies change the more we play. When all nine numbers have been called, the students check their number with the other students in their group. Whoever has the largest number stands up. The teacher then asks one of the students standing to read their number. (I usually also write the number on the board.) If the number is larger than the number held by the others who are standing, those students sit down. It someone has I  higher number they remain standing and read their number. Continue until the student with the highest number is discovered. Remember - to win, the student must read the number correctly - no ANDS!

I love this game because it can be easily modified. You can use a six-sided die or only use six lines. I have also changed it up and had the students create a game board in their notebook. It looks like this. Notice I had them put a decimal point in this time.

For each round the students just draw nine more dashes. 

Would you like a copy of my "What's My Number?" game board? You can get it for free here.

Do you have any games you use to help your students with number sense and/or place value? I would love to hear about them.

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