In Games and warm-ups, Number and Algebra

… A game to reinforce Place Value, Addition and Subtraction understanding and fluency.

The sustained and long-term success of students in mathematics depends on their ability to develop successful and flexible number strategies from an early age.  Three essential foundations of students’ ability to develop such strategies are:

  • Numeration (ie, an understanding of place value and how it allows us to group numbers together so as to organise them);
  • Conceptual understanding of the operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division); and
  • A working knowledge of number facts based on efficient non-counting mental strategies – in addition and subtraction to 20, and in multiplication and division to 100.

(See Booker, G., Bond, D., Briggs, J. & Davey, G. (1997) ‘Teaching Primary Mathematics’ (2nd Edition), Longman Cheshire: Melbourne).

MATHEMONSTER Catch’ is a game that has been designed to help reinforce students’ numeracy in these three foundations of number understanding. The game can be played with students from Year 1 through to Year 6, in pairs or small groups, either competitively or collaboratively.

This game was trialled in partner schools in the Upper Hunter of NSW in 2016–2018 during the CHOOSEMATHS Schools Outreach project. The game is designed to be a fun and engaging way in which to help students grasp the bundling of units into groups of ten and then the use of these bundling strategies for operating with large whole numbers, particularly in the addition and subtraction operations.

The downloadable and printable resources provided here include:

  • A full set of MATHEMONSTER Catch game instructions;
  • A poster explaining the decimal values of each MATHEMONSTER character featured in the game;
  • A set of MATHEMONSTER ‘Catch Cages’ (place value units), ideally to be printed in A3 poster size or larger;
  • Game record sheets; and
  • A full set of MATHEMONSTER character cards (values from ‘ones’ through to ‘millions’).

Depending on time and available resources, teachers or parents may choose to print, laminate and cut out the attached MATHEMONSTER character cards or they may simply select to replace the character cards with coloured counters. Dice or digital random number generators can be used to generate the multi-digit whole numbers used to play the game.

We do hope that you and your students or child have lots of fun playing MATHEMONSTER Catch together!

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