Friday, July 15, 2011


I got this game from a training I went to during February Conference one year (had to be with in the last 5). For those of you who do not know what February Conference is, it's a 3 day student holiday in February where the teachers get to go to trainings led by their peers or even some consultants the district brings in. I don't know the validity of the claims that it's the best financial use of our districts resources for 3 days, but I do enjoy some of the trainings I get to go to. Teaching social skills, not a lot of the training particularly apply to me. I do get the rare chance to teach content though and it's always fun to have some cool never been done before (with my students) method.

You will need a 2 markers and a lot of index cards. Your choice to laminate or not. Heck - you could even have your kids do this part themselves. With one color marker label index cards with the numbers 0, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. That should be ten cards with one number per card. Then you use the rest of the index cards to write math problems on with the other color marker. The key is that the answer has to be one or two digits, but nothing greater. For A the focus was on addition and subtraction facts. For Z, multiplication and division. You can do order of operations, integers, absolute values etc... I have have a thought in my head for doing fractions, but not quite fleshed out yet.

When playing the game you will set out the numbers cards so that they are all visible and within arms length of the players. I usually set them in a grid between A and I so that they are in order and easy to reach. Out of order makes it difficult to find numbers quickly.

A prefers them in numerical order in a line.
Your math problems will be in a stack off to the side. You could do it so that they are upside down but I'm cheap and used both sides. When the math problem is revealed the first one to "Slap" the answer gets to keep the card (that's how you keep track of who is winning). If it's a single digit answer you only need 1 hand, double digit you need 2 hands. Lets say you have 11 - both hands will be on the 11. Winner is determined by who's hand is on the bottom.

Why play slaps.... one it brings repetition of math facts, as well as exposure. The best part is that they are trying to win so they want to be first. The quicker they "memorize" the math fact, the quicker they can slap it. We need that by middle school so that kids are learning the new skills and not having to continue to learn the old skills. BTW - the kids think it's super fun! Z and I do handicap ourselves when playing with A. We count to 10 slowly in our minds and then look at the card to solve. Enjoy this great game!

I needed to finish something so I told her I had a magic number in my mind and when she got that many correct she could stop playing. She did the addition on one side and the subtraction on the other side. The problems used the same numbers and just changed from addition to subtraction. She started seeing the pattern. LOVED IT!


This game is trying to get rid of the counting on the fingers thing. Drives me NUTS!

A wanted to take pictures too.

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