As part of a visit I do with schools I have a fifteen minute workshop with the parents at the end of the day. In one of these sessions a parent expressed concern that their child was finding working with numbers hard.
My answer was to play snakes and ladders once a week; if the child enjoys it and you have time twice. Based on an ancient Hindu game that aimed at teaching about the hurdles in life and fate, this game is also mathematical and exciting to play. This game has numbers 1 to 100 and, as children build confidence playing you can change the rules, some examples are below.
Both players have a dice each, the one who rolls the highest/lowest moves!
Roll both dice, you can only move if they add up to an odd/even number.
If you land on a prime, square, cube, odd, even, starting with 1/2/3 and so on, you can move forward 7 places.
Start at 100 and work backwards.
It is hard for anyone to learn when asked to recite numbers, the best way is just to play with them and before you know they start to see a pattern! Patience is important here as sometimes it takes a while and by rushing they will feel pressure.
Always ask questions, for example if they have never seen this game ask “how do you think we play this?” or if they have played it ask “what would you change?” “How long will the game take?” for a more advanced question “What is the least amount of throws you would need to finish” “what if you could only move 5 squares at a time?”
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Please share any other ideas you have to play this game, or thoughts about this blog.