# Learning Goal Essay Sample

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Learning Goal: Get ready for factoring by practicing with factor pairs and factor thinking. This is a (ideally) a two-player game.

Game Setup: There is a gameboard, a set of game tiles, and two sets of player ID cards (one set is X, one set is =). It is very important that the game tile pages get printed back to back on cardstock so that when it is cut out, you might see correct pairs as the front and back of a card. The player cards (= or x) should NOT be printed double sided. Print the two pages of game tiles on different colors for easier sorting of levels.

1. Place all the game tiles on the gameboard (see note about levels below). 2. Players take turns declaring the answer for a card, then checking it. If they are correct, they get to stake a claim on the space. If they are incorrect, their opponent gets to claim the space. 3. The goal is to place four player ID cards on the board in a row, column, or on a diagonal.

Level 1: Use the cards that only involve numbers.
Level 2: Use the cards with variable expressions.

Using Who Has? Decks to Practice Basic Facts
Once students have developed conceptual understanding of the basic operations they need to develop fluency with the facts. One quick way to include daily practice and motivate students to master these basic facts is through the use of the Who Has? card decks. These decks can be created for virtually any topic and frequent use as both a whole class practice or as a center activity for partners or small groups will provide facts practice in a highly-motivating format. Classroom Management Strategies

There are several strategies that have proven successful when implementing this activity: * Distributing Cards: Distribute one card to each student, then distribute the extras to strong students in the beginning and to random students as the class becomes more familiar with the deck. * Class Play: As you distribute the cards, encourage students to begin thinking about what the question for their card might be so that they are prepared to answer. When all cards are distributed, select the “0” card or any student to begin. Play continues until the game comes back to the original card. That student answers and then says “stop” to signal the end of the game. * Timed Play: Consider using a stopwatch to time the class game. Record the time on the board so that students try each game to beat their current best time.

This practice encourages students to stay attentive and prompts students to practice basic facts so that the class time improves. The current record for the multiplication deck is held by a fourth grade class in New Jersey who completed the deck in 59 seconds. If your class beats this record, be sure to send an e-mail with the facts. * Calling Out Answers:Discourage this practice by adding 5 seconds onto the class time whenever you hear an answer from someone who does not hold the card. Use the same penalty for students who express vocal displeasure with delays by other students. * Partner or Small-Group Play:

* One student deals out the cards to all players.
* Players arrange the cards face-up in front of them. Students will find that arranging the cards in order from least to greatest will help them locate cards quickly. * Play begins with the “0” card or any card held by the player to the dealer’s left. * Play continues as in the class game. Whoever has the card that answers the question reads that answer and then reads the question on that card. * Students turn over the cards after reading them.

* The first person to turn over all his/her cards, wins the game. [Note: this is completely random but don’t tell the students!] * Shuffle the cards and repeat the game.

Who Has? Decks
Several decks are attached below for downloading as PDFs. All decks are 30 cards so that there are enough cards for most classes. In fact, some students will probably need to have two cards to use the complete deck. The decks are designed to print onto 2×4 inch labels (10 to a page). These can then be affixed to index cards to create each deck. If labels are not available, simply cut and paste the printout to create card decks.

The Board
The Damath board, similar to a chess board, consists of 8 x 8 squares alternating in black and white. On the white squares are the four basic Mathematical operations–addition, subtraction, multiplication and division There are two sets of twelve pieces for each player, marked with numbers from zero to eleven. Odd numbers are marked with negative signs and placed on the left side of the board while even numbers are positive and placed on the right. Numbers outside the playing squares act as guides to show the correct positioning of the pieces. Basic Gameplay

As the name implies, the game is essentially the same as dama but with an added math twist: in order to win in Damath, a player must score the most points which are earned by “eating” the opponent’s pieces. In dama, the move ends there; in Damath, the player must solve the mathematical operation on the square in which the opponents piece is currently standing. The answer to that mathematical operation is the amount of points that the player will receive when s/he does “eat” the opponent’s piece. If the piece marked “-1” eats the piece marked “-3,” with “-3” standing on a multiplication square, the player must first solve the operation (-1 x -3 = 3) and will get three points. The game will go on until all pieces belonging to a player have been eaten and the scores computed. Because of the need to solve operations, players must list down all moves during the game so the moves can be reviewed, especially by the judges in a tournament setting.

Playing the electronic damath is also a contest on who gets the higher positive score which entails the use of the fundamental operations in math. “When students play the game, they tend to have deeper consciousness on the intricacies of the game. They get to consider every step that they make and how this can contribute to winning the game. In the process they develop analytical thinking skills,” Huenda explained.

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