If you are the parent of a child who has just finished second grade and will be going into the third grade in a month or two, how are you going to keep his/her math skills honed so that he/she is completely ready for third grade math? As an elementary math specialist, I have found that **math games **are perfect summer skill sharpeners.

By the end of grade two, students should:

• understand place value and number relationships in addition and subtraction

• use simple concepts of multiplication

• be able to measure quantities with appropriate units

• classify shapes and see relationships among them by paying attention to their geometric attributes

• collect and analyze data and verify the answers.

**As a veteran second grade teacher, I have found that understanding place value and number relationships is the most important skill that second graders need to practice and master.**

The following games are two of many second grade/third grade games that help children understand and have fun with place value:

**Who Will Win?**

What you need:

2 players

1 die

deck of cards, 10s and face cards removed

counters (pennies, paperclips, etc.)

Player #1 takes a card and turns it over for all to see. Player #2 does the same. Player #1 takes a second card and turns it over for all to see. Player #2 does the same. Each player uses his/her two cards to make a two-digit number. Players say their numbers out loud. Player #1 rolls the die to determine who will earn a counter.

1,3,5 odd roll – the lower number earns a counter

2,4,6 even roll – the higher number earns a counter.

Players continue building numbers and alternating the throw of the die. The first player to accumulate 10 counters is the winner.

**Get Close to 100**

What you need:

2 – 4 players

deck of cards, 10s and face cards removed

paper and pencils for each player

The object of the game is to make a two-digit addition problem that comes as close to 100 as possible.

Shuffle cards and place them face down in a pile.

Player #1 turns over 4 cards and moves the cards around until he/she has created a two-digit addition problem whose sum will be as close to 100 as he/she can make it. Player #1 records this problem on his/her recording sheet. Player #2 checks for addition accuracy.

Example: Player #1 draws a 4, a 7, a 2, and a 5. He/she moves the cards around until she/he decides that 47 + 52 = 99 is the closest that he/she can get.

Player # 2 draws four cards and does the same.

The points for each round are the difference between their sum and 100.

Example: A sum of 95 scores 5 points and so does a sum of 105.

Players compare scores at the end of this first round. They put their four cards in a discard pile and player #2 begins first and turns over four more cards for the second round.

After six rounds, players total their points and the player with the lowest score wins.

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