Well Played: Building Mathematical Thinking Through Number Games and Puzzles, Grades 3–5
“This is a book full of thoughtful and well-chosen games and puzzles, but it is also a book that offers a lens into how we might include this kind of play in our own classrooms in ways that are deeply meaningful and engaging for our students. It is a book truly rooted in the realities and possibilities of the classroom, which is what makes it such a valuable resource for teachers.” – Kassia Omohundro Wedekind, from the foreword
Students love math games and puzzles, but how much are they really learning from the experience? Too often, math games are thought of as just a fun activity or enrichment opportunity. Well Played shows you how to make games and puzzles an integral learning component that provides teachers with unique access to student thinking.
The twenty-five games and puzzles in Well Played, which have all been field-tested in diverse classrooms, contain:
• explanations of the mathematical importance of each game or puzzle and how it supports student learning;
• variations for each game or puzzle to address a range of learning levels and styles;
• clear step-by-step directions; and
• classroom vignettes that model how best to introduce the featured game or puzzle.
The book also includes a separate chapter with suggestions for how to effectively manage games and puzzles in diverse classrooms; reproducibles that provide directions, game boards, game cards, and puzzles; assessment ideas; and suggestions for online games, puzzles, and apps.
Well Played will help you tap the power of games and puzzles to engage students in sustained and productive mathematical thinking.
Stenhouse Publishers; June 2015
- ISBN: 9781625310606
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: Well Played 3-5
- Author: Linda Dacey; Karen Gartland; Jayne Bamford Lynch
Imprint: Stenhouse Publishers
In The Press
The authors created this easy-to-use book with a goal of increasing the potential of games and puzzles to deepen students’ conceptual learning and computational fluency (p. 2). The target audience is teachers of grades 3–5; the targeted skills and concepts are appropriate for students at these grade levels.
Well Played for grades 3–5 has chapters with games and puzzles addressing the mathematical concepts of base-ten numeration; addition and subtraction; multiplication and division; mixed operations; and fractions. Each chapter includes five games or puzzles and a section of online games and apps that address the concept. For each game or puzzle, authors Dacey, Gartland, and Lynch explain why it has been included, how to play the game, how it looks in a classroom setting, teacher look-fors, variations of the game, exit card ideas, and extension
activities. The appendix includes all game boards and additional materials required to play the games.
As a math coach, my favorite chapter is entitled, “Supporting Learning through Games and Puzzles.” It explores how to use games and puzzles in the classroom and offers excellent suggestions for both beginning and experienced teachers on topics from teaching game etiquette to setting goals and assessing learning, fostering productive discussions, and organizing games in the classroom.
Although several of the games in this book are variations on old favorites, many are new. The inclusion of the mathematics behind the games, the exit cards, and the ideas for variations make this a book that I am sure I will use repeatedly and will recommend to classroom teachers.
—Amy Henderson, Harrisonburg City Schools, Virginia.
About The Author
Linda Dacey, consultant and professor emeritus at Lesley University, has always believed that learning mathematics should be conceptually based and enjoyable. . Her major interests are problem solving, number sense, and strategies for differentiation. Linda is the coauthor with Anne Collins of the Zeroing in on Number and Operations series, The Xs and Whys of Algebra, and It’s All Relative.
Karen Gartland is a mathematics coordinator and classroom teacher at Groton-Dunstable Middle School. She enjoys working with students of all ages with a focus on conceptual understanding of mathematics through critical thinking and application as well as best practices for integrating technology. Karen is also an adjunct faculty member at Lesley University.
Jayne Bamford Lynch is a district math instructional coach in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she spends most of her days in elementary classrooms supporting coaches, teachers, and students. Jayne presents workshops for teachers, administrators, and parents on a multitude of topics and is also a National Faculty member of the School of Education at Lesley University.