Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yahtzee - Making Math Practice Adaptable and Fun

Gess loves playing Yahtzee but up until recently all she really did was roll the dice and keep what we told her to. This year though we have tried to make her part of the game. A big help in doing that was finding a large print Yahtzee score card. It is hard enough for me to read that small card so I never bother to really let Gess try. So, I decided to look for a large print Yahtzee score card and found one on the BoardGameGeek website. It really makes it easy for a kid with special needs to see what they need, how much it is worth and it gives them plenty of room to write it all down! It's great for people with vision problems too. It makes the card 2 pages instead of 1, but that is alright by me. Here is what it looks like.

We used Yahtzee a lot over the summer to help Gess practice her math skills. Near the end of last year Gess learned her doubles math facts. She can add up to 9+9 from memory. Yahtzee is a great way to practice doubles (at least up to 6). What we would do is divide her dice up into any doubles she had, add those, and then use her counting on skill to add any remaining dice if needed. Here she is putting a 28 on her 4 of a kind. Note how we had 2 sets of 6+6 and then "counted on" from 24 to 28. (I just told her 12+12 was 24 since she did not already know that one.)

Of course sometimes she got a Yahtzee. (I think she got more than one in this game!) We loved it when she got it with her 5's because that helped her practice her skip counting skill. (We did this with 2s too of course). I think all of her Yahtzee's were with 5s this game, but I could be wrong!

Another skill that she worked on was calculator work. In the book Teaching Math to children with Down Syndrome, they recommend teaching them to use a calculator early on. Therefore, at least one day a week I do something to let Gess learn the skill. From using something fun like the pumpkin pie game to just letting her answer problems on a worksheet, she has learned how to use a calculator rather well. So, at the end of the Yahtzee game, Gess gets to add up her own score.

And of course, as with any game there are other skills you learn like waiting for your turn...

and taking the results well.

Of course that was easy this time because she won!


Our Village is a Little Different said...

I love using games for school. Yahtzee is one of my favorites.

April said...

What a great way to use a fun game for teaching! I bet she doesn't even think of it as doing math - it's just fun. If she's rolling two yatzee's in one game, you better get that child to Vegas. :)


TIFFANY said...

Looks like fun. I think I'll let my 1st and 2 graders try that this year (probably wouldn't hurt my 5th grader either).
Visiting and following from the TOS hop.

Beverly said...

looks like Gess is having fun. wishing you guys a great year xo


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