1st Edition

Well Played, Grades K-2 Building Mathematical Thinking Through Number Games and Puzzles

    Students love math games and puzzles, but how much are they really learning from the experience? Too often, math games are thought of as just a fun activity or enrichment opportunity. Well Played, Grades K-2: Building Mathematical Thinking Through Number Games and Puzzles, shows you how to make games and puzzles an integral learning component that provides teachers with unique access to student thinking. The twenty-five games and puzzles in Well Played, Grades K-2 , which have all been field-tested in diverse classrooms, contain: • Explanations of the mathematical importance of each game or puzzle and how it supports student learning • Variations for each game or puzzle to address a range of learning levels and styles • Classroom vignettes that model how best to introduce the featured game or puzzle The book also includes a separate chapter with suggestions for how to effectively manage games and puzzles in diverse classrooms;game boards, game cards, and puzzles; assessment ideas; and suggestions for online games, puzzles, and apps. Well Played, Grades K-2 will help you tap the power of games and puzzles to engage students in sustained and productive mathematical thinking.

    Chapter 1: Introduction; Chapter 2: Supporting Learning Through Games and Puzzles; Chapter 3: Counting and Ordering; Chapter 4: Base Ten Numeration; Chapter 5: Addition; Chapter 6: Subtraction; Chapter 7: Addition and Subtraction


    Linda Dacey, consultant and professor emeritus at Lesley University, has always believed that learning mathematics should be conceptually based and enjoyable. Her major interests are problem solving, number sense, and strategies for differentiation. Linda is the coauthor with Anne Collins of the Zeroing in on Number and Operations series, as well as other titles focused on teaching mathematics at the K-2 level.Karen Gartland is a mathematics coordinator and classroom teacher at Groton-Dunstable Middle School. She enjoys working with students of all ages with a focus on conceptual understanding of mathematics through critical thinking and application as well as best practices for integrating technology. Karen is also an adjunct faculty member at Lesley University. Jayne Bamford Lynch is a district math instructional coach in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she spends most of her days in elementary classrooms supporting coaches, teachers, and students. Jayne presents workshops for teachers, administrators, and parents on a multitude of topics and is also a National Faculty member of the School of Education at Lesley University.

    “This is a book full of thoughtful and well-chosen games and puzzles, but it is also a book that offers a lens into how we might include this kind of play in our own classrooms in ways that are deeply meaningful and engaging for our students. It is a book truly rooted in the realities and possibilities of the classroom, which is what makes it such a valuable resource for teachers.” – Kassia Omohundro Wedekind, from the foreword
    Are you looking for a way to add mathematically rich games to your students’ problem solving? Dacey, Gartland, and Lynch provide a valuable resource for Kgrade 2 educators to plan and implement puzzles and games. The authors begin by offering principles and guidance for implementation of games and puzzles in the classroom, based on their classroom experiences, field testing, and on research. The remaining chapters each present games, some familiar, some less common, on topics including counting and ordering, base-ten numeration, addition, and subtraction.
                    For use as a curriculum component or supplement, the book includes good attention to implementation and assessment as well as offering good examples, sample exit questions, suggestions for differentiation of games, options for directions and game variations, and consideration of students’ reading levels. A unique asset is guidance on students’ “manners,” norms for interaction, keeping the focus on the mathematics rather than secondary to superficial aspects or winning. A few minor modifications would have made the book an even stronger resource: additional guidance on assessment, such as a few example rubrics, clarifications to a few transcripts, and additional direction on creating cards or game boards to extend, differentiate, and vary the games. Consider teaming up with colleagues to analyze a game; then pilot it with a group of students before building a lesson or center around it.
                    Educators planning K–grade 2 mathematics learning will find Well Played to be conceptually, developmentally, and pedagogically strong—as well as fun and engaging—for their schools.
    Lucia M. Flevares, independent mathematics education consultant, Columbus, Ohio.