SUM OF WHICH has been played and is being played in many classrooms and homes. It is being played in 8 countries. I had a dream that perhaps it could be played by hundreds of children at once!
Today, that dream became a reality. Today, children at the Kennedy School in Ogdensburg, New York played to compete for champion of their grade level in a SUM OF WHICH Tournament. Today, more than 350 children played SUM OF WHICH!
It was thrilling to see so many children so enthusiastic about playing the game. Watching the pride in their faces as they made "big points" for their plays was incredible. Then, as the four finalists for each grade were called to play. watching them approach the playing table with confidence and just a slight bit of fear was wonderful. They knew they were going to play for champion.
Watching the "Final Four" was great as well. I was able to watch as they studied the board looking for the best play and eventually as they placed their tiles.
"Crowning" the top player at each grade was terrific. Those students went home with a SUM OF WHICH JUNIOR game so they can continue to play and practice.
As I walked out of the school, I heard comments like this. One student asked, "Will we have another tournament next year?" Another said, "Thanks for making up that game SUM OF WHICH. It's fun." In answer to the question, yes, there will be another tournament next year. The school has already reserved Pi Day for next year. Let's hope we don't have another snow day. And, you are welcome. Thank you for playing the game. You helped to make another of my dream to come true.
On a cool autumn day in October, 2016 I was driving home from Syracuse, New York. My passenger fell asleep and I went into a very dangerous place, my head. That was the beginning of a creation I now call "SUM OF WHICH".
As I drove along, I was trying to think of ways to engage children in practicing composing and decomposing ten. I had recently identified a child's difficulty at school to not the third grade math she was struggling with but instead a challenge composing and decomposing ten. I knew that if I had her practicing addition and subtraction with worksheets or drill, she would quickly become bored. So I knew I needed to find a way to make it much more engaging.
I think it was somewhere around Mexico, New York where I came up with a strategy game. As I was driving, the additional strategy elements and the random starting points to the game started to fall into place. By the time I arrived home, I had a pretty good idea of how the game would play and I even had the title. SUM OF WHICH was now a much clearer dream. I knew I needed to field test the game and try to bring it to life.
Fast foward to December 2016. I had tested the game hundreds of times and made some minor adjustments to the game to make game play more fun. I designed the game template and sent it off for printing. The first games arrived in mid- December. SUM OF WHICH IS TEN JUNIOR was now a reality.
Fast forward again to February 2017. The board game for the larger senior version as well as the tiles for the fraction version of the game were designed and off to the printers. SUM OF WHICH IS TEN and SUM OF WHICH IS ONE were both about to become realities. They arrived in early March.
This dream continues as I work to get the additional versions of the game ready for print and an app ready for the app stores. In addition, I have two other games waiting "in the wings".
That cool day back in October, I had a dream. Each day now I am fortunate to live the reality of that dream.
Never stop dreaming. Your dream could become a reality.
I have been an educator for more than 20 years. I firmly believe that students must UNDERSTAND, not memorize.