It's all Fun and Games in 3/4H! - Mid-Pacific Institute

3/4 Holzman

It's all Fun and Games in 3/4H!

Posted on September 15, 2017

by Ms. Holzman on September 15, 2017

At this year's Open House I spoke about "3rd and 4th graders playing a lot of games in math class." I'd like to explain more in depth about the types of games we play and why it's so important for your child's learning.

When we were children, playing games in class was considered "fooling around" and not a tool for learning. In Investigations playing games are not only learning tools; but they are crucial parts of the curriculum.

As you are well aware, Investigations has a very hands-on approach to math. A week rarely goes by without the children playing some sort of game. These games are important because they help to nurture collaboration, while also focusing on group work skills. They reinforce basic math concepts such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication. They also allow the children to share problem solving strategies with each other. These games also provide a safe environment for allowing children to experiment with new mathematical thinking.

When the kids hear that we are going to play a game, they are filled with excitement! Some of their favorite games are:

  • Go Collecting - This game is based on the game Go Fish. The children categorize the cards by the collecting titles (Ex. stamps, coins, toys, etc.). They try to make pairs within their own hand of cards. If they can't, they "go collecting" from their partners cards to find a category match. Then they generate 2- and 3-digit addition problems from these matches and estimate the sums. This game reinforces estimation and addition.
  • Close to 100 - This game is a game of strategy. Each child has six cards. They use four of the cards to make two numbers that add up to as "close to 100" as possible. The score is the difference between their number and 100. (Ex: cards 4, 2, 5, 6 = 42 + 56 = 98, for a score of 2). The object of the game is to get the lowest score. The children quickly develop strategies to land right on 100. They are really good at it! This game reinforces addition, subtraction, mental math, and estimation.


IMG_0152.jpgI invite you to become a child again and play some fun math games at home with your child! There are some great games on-line.

Some of the sites I recommend are: