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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ladybug Math Game

An interactive and fun way to work on addition skills!
Before playing this game with the class I first read the students a story about ladybugs and what they eat. Once, the students learn that ladybugs eat aphids we then discuss some addition word problems. For example, if a ladybug eats 2 aphids in the morning and 3 at night how many did it eat altogether? I then use this game as a hands on way to have the students solve the addition problems on their own.
How to play: This game can be played two ways, both individually and as a group. When first introducing this game to students I have them play on their own but with guidance from the teacher. I have each student put on the ladybug cape and look at the addition problem on the card. They then solve the addition problem of how many aphids in total they ate and jump to the leaf with the correct number. This continues until all the addition problems (with answers from 1 to 10) have been completed. After each student has had a chance to do this I then introduce the group game, which is a spin on musical chairs. The students are the hungry ladybugs and when the music starts they each look at the addition problem on their index card and walk around the leaves. When the music stops they have to find the leaf with the appropriate number of aphids and sit on that leaf. The students then switch addition problems with a friend and the game repeats. If the students need a little extra help, each card has the answer on the back so that they may check their answer.
I believe that the combination of math and movement is one way to get the students more active in their learning and to help those students who usually shy away from math to have some fun and enjoy the learning.
Content Standards: Operations and Algebraic Thinking 1. Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings, sounds, acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations. 2. Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
Click here for another great hands on math activity.

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