Cards and Dice for Teachers

I began playing math games with my students using regular decks of cards. However, over the years, I developed my own cards for several important reasons:

• Regular cards do not have a zero, and zero is much too important in our base ten system to leave out. Turning a queen or king into a zero is confusing for most children.

• While teaching first grade, I discovered the ten-frame. It allowed children to easily count the dots, if they needed to do so and anchored the students to ten – a very important learning tool with our base 10 numbering system. It is easy to see how many more are needed to make 10 if you have a 7, or 5, or 9, etc.

• And lastly, these cards help children see if a number is odd or even. If there is a dot that doesn’t have a partner, it is an odd number. If all dots have a partner, it is an even number.

Masters for the these special cards can be found on the CD with directions for printing, laminating, and cutting out.

5

Dice
(random number generators)

All that you will really need are regular dice. They are really cheap and easy to find at stores such as The Dollar Tree, the 99¢ Store, etc. For the most part, you will need two dice. There are a couple of games that require more. One of my favorites is Oops! which requires five dice.

I also like those 1 ½ inch foam dice for younger children. You can get 12 for $4.99 (plus shipping and handling) at the Oriental Trading Company. They make counting the dots much easier.

Some games need teacher-made dice. I buy those small wooden cubes from a crafts store or an educational supply store and mark them according to the instructions on the game.