Post a message or simply read what others have written and answered. Rachel, a RightStart™ Math user and one of our customer care people, will be monitoring this forum. She will respond to your questions as needed.

Have a great day and remember to play a math card game!

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Hi Rachel (or anyone else out there)~

I am looking for an alternative to the mental math game listed in the games book. We just cannot make it work for us and my son really doesn't like it. I don't care for it either. We have to put out so many rows that it gets laborious looking through each problem and seeing if we have the right cards in our hands. I've tried increasing how many cards are in our hands to 6 instead of 3 but to no avail. The game simply is stressing to him and I feel that is counterproductive. Now he does definitely need practice in mental math so I'm looking for other ideas? Because I'm not so great at making up games... But I do agree a game is better than a worksheet any day of the week.

On a happy note, my son is saving money for a special toy. It costs 90.00. He figured out he has 56.00 at this point. I asked him how much he lacked and after just a second or two he spouted "34.00" Wow. Amazing what some motivation can do...

For the record I had to stop and write it down to make sure he did it correctly. Maybe I need the mental math games:)

Thanks,
Jennifer

Hi, Jennifer!

If the game you are playing is causing stress - definitely stop playing it! Sometimes, I have modified a game to help - as you have, but if it doesn't help, then we need to definitely find something different.

My kids LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Corner's game. We worked on some mental math with that one. We also changed the 'rules' slightly to serve our purpose. For example, instead of totaling multiples of '5', we would be sure that our matches totaled a multiple of '4' or a multiple of '3' (Corners Three - A38). This way, it changed up their 'mental math' addition facts - and it helped with their mental math addition strategies of adding '9' or '8' to a number.

Give that one a try and see if that helps.

Let me know how it works out for you!
Rachel

Hello,

We also had trouble with the game. I wonder if instead of just specifying the "basic card deck", to use certain amounts of cards? Should we remove the 10's from the deck? Use two entire decks? It seemed as though we needed a lot of 5's. We ended up giving up also. :(

Clarification of the rules would also be helpful. When does the turn end? How many times do you add a new row if there are no possible plays? Just once?

Thanks,
Dena

Hi, Jennifer!

Definitely, if your son (and you) are stressing, then the game is NOT doing what it needs to do to allow for practice.

Mental math is a concept that student's understand at a wide variety of development. I have four kids. Only one was able to do mental math 'immediately'. My remaining kids started grasping mental math anywhere from second grade through 4th grade. That's a big difference!!!! It sounds like he is able to calculate in his head already - which is great! I would recommend, to reduce the 'stress', to do several equations a day during the Warm-Up time. To come up with the equations, you can use the game cards as described in the game, but only put up 2 or 3 equations at a time. This way, your son is not 'completing a worksheet', but still getting in some practice.

Once he starts getting quicker at mental math, you may want to revisit the game and see how far he has come. The benefit of that is that he can see his growth! I have done this with my kids and when we come back to a game (or a concept) I tell them, 'Do you remember how you struggled with this before? Now look at you! You have learned so much and are doing a GREAT job! Let's do a celebration dance!' (or whatever celebration works for your son.)

If you want to try a different version of the game, then I would recommend you 'stacking' the deck using numbers that will 'review' calculations that are easy for him and only adding in a few that are more difficult. For example, include in the deck all the multiples for '10' and '5' and just a few 'odd' multiples from another multiple. This will simplify most of his adding. When he starts getting a little stronger, you can build in other multiples.

I hope that helps! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to repost here or you can email RighStart Math directly at info@rightstartmath.com

Have a great day!

Rachel,

Just as a clarification, I am Dena, not Jennifer. I just added to Jennifer's post because I was looking for more information on the game that Jennifer posted about. My questions were more about HOW the game is played...because we were having trouble with it working for us as a game...not because the kids struggled with the mental math. I'm wondering about the use of the entire basic card deck...what to do with the 10's?

Is there a video version of the game as in some of the other games? I really like the games and don't want to give up on this one...just because MOM is confused about the rules. :)

Thanks again,
Dena

Hi, Dena!

At first, this game seems a little 'daunting'...at least it did for me when I first saw it. However, it is actually quite easy.

Step 1 - Put 2 stacks of cards out - the Basic Card Deck (with the green back) and your Multiples Deck (With the Blue Back)

Step 2 - Deal each player 3 cards

Step 3 - Make 2 rows of the 'game board'....Each row has one card from the multiple deck and 1 card from the basic card deck.

Step 4 - The first player answers the equation mentally. For example, if the 2 rows you have out there (the 'game board') are: 63 and 9; 16 and 1....then you need to mentally add the first equation (63 + 9 = 72) and the second equation is (16 + 1 = 17). That first player then looks at his deck and sees if he has a '7, 2, or 1' in his/her hand. Let's say he/she has a '2'. That card would go in the first row. Then because he doesn't have any other 'matches', he draws a card (because he used one up).

Step 5 - The second player plays off his/her hand. Let's say in this particular scenario the second player has a '7' and a '1'. So he/she decides to put the '7' on the first equation (to finish the answer of '72') and the '1' on the second equation. She has no more matches, so she draws two cards (because she used two during the game).

Step 6 - The first player doesn't have any matches at all...so he/she puts out a new row (a new equation). He/she puts down a card from the multiplication deck and one card from the basic card deck. Then his turn is over.

Continue through the game.

The game is over when either the Basic Card deck or the Multiples Card deck is depleted - or when mom says 'Times up!' :-)

I hope that gives you a better idea of how to play the game. It actually is quite fun!

Let me know if you have any further questions! Have a fabulous day playing math card games!

Rachel