On my way out the door the other day, I was leaving some fairly vague instructions for my wife to run the maths lesson.
‘He hates doing worksheets, and won’t have anything to do with them. Just look at what the worksheets are asking, find some way to ask the same questions in some kind of context, and things should go smoothly enough. For the most part it is things like adding single digit numbers or identifying patterns.’
I was charmed to find that they had spent the morning making board games. One of them was delightfully creative, but also kind of subjective in its rules. My son had obviously made the whole thing, and put it together out of bits and pieces of other games he has played. The idea was that both players win, which I thought was a pretty cute outcome.
The other game, ‘Golden Eggs,’ is where the bulk of the maths lesson took place.
The original workbook exercise was a 10 by 10 grid with some of the numbers already in place. The idea was to fill in the missing numbers. It is pretty simple stuff. Once the dice and chooks got involved, though, it stopped being an exercise and became a board game. Here are the rules.
‘Each player has a chook figure. The blank eggs have a secret number. Roll a die to move your chook amongst the eggs. You do not have to move in a straight line. Where she lands, use the columns, rows and surrounding numbers to reveal the secret number. Write the secret number on the egg, and then colour it in. Your chook hatches her egg while the other player has their turn.’
I just loved what they got up to here. This is a game with a bit of everything. There is dice, number patterns, colouring in, and, of course, chooks.
I guess, at a pinch, if you couldn’t find any chooks, then dinosaurs might do.