I had the privilege of attending the NCTM Regional Conference in Hartford last week. As like all conferences, it truly recharged my batteries. I left the conference with many new ideas for engaging and exciting children about mathematics. Of course, this excitement made its’ way into SUM OF WHICH.
I was thinking about ways to get players to truly watch and learn from the other players and this is what I added as an elective variation to the game.
Play SUM OF WHICH as you typically play. But now, help an opponent to increase points by changing their play to a better play and earn points for doing so.
For example, assume Johnny, Suzie, and Cameron are playing SUM OF WHICH and the top part of the game board looks like this. Johnny has the tiles of 1, 2, 4, 2, and 1.
Johnny makes a play as shown on the left.
This is a 13 point play. A sum of ten (10)
and three points for each yellow tile played (3).
Suzie could speak up and say, “I can help you earn more points". She can then show Johnny that by moving the 2 to the plus 10, as shown on the left, he can earn 10 more points just for placing a tile on the "plus ten". Johnny will then earn 23 points instead of the 13 points he originally played and Suzie will also receive 23 points for showing Johnny the 23 point play.
But before the score is recorded, Cameron could speak up and say, “I can help you earn even more points”. He can then show Johnny how to play his tiles as shown on the left. That play is worth 85 points; 10 points each for the two sums of ten (20), bonus of the plus 10 in both sums (20), 3 points for each yellow tile played (15), and all five tiles used in one play (30). Then Suzie would not receive her bonus. Cameron and Johnny would each receive 85 points.
I had the chance to try this variation out when visiting family. What I found was this made the game even more fun. Even the adults were shouting out, “I can help you earn more points!” Everyone was continually engaged. We had so much fun.
The teachers who have implemented this variation have found that students are always strategizing. They are very interested in the tiles their opponents have as well as their own. Give it a try, I would love to hear what your students think.
Don't forget SUm of which for gifts
With the holidays approaching quickly, be sure to add SUM OF WHICH to the list. If you know anyone who likes strategy games or any children ages 7 to 99, SUM OF WHICH is a great gift idea. The data is showing that repeatedly playing SUM OF WHICH and the four other games you can play with SUM OF WHICH (YOU GET 5 GAMES IN ONE) are increasing student's ability to compose and decompose numbers.
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Thanks for helping to "Make Brains Beautiful".
I have been an educator for more than 20 years. I firmly believe that students must UNDERSTAND, not memorize.