Friday, February 24, 2012

Jenga Math

I LOVE to play board games at home, but I also enjoying using them in my classroom. In addition to encouraging cooperation, turn taking and a variety of other social skills, I find I can often use the games to work on math and literacy skills. So, every Friday, I am going to post a Friday Game Night post, giving tips on how to use a particular board game in your classroom. Here’s this week’s Friday Game Night Tip:


Jenga – Part 1 (Math)  I know, I know, Jenga is a block game, how are you going to teach math with it?  Well, here are some ways, and all you need is Jenga and a little masking tape (the thin tape works best).

For each of these variations on Jenga, put a small piece of masking tape on each Jenga block.  On each piece of masking tape, write a digit 0-9.
1. Make the Biggest Number – Play Jenga using standard play rules, except do not have students return their blocks to the top.  Instead, 100_6828have each student keep the blocks they take in a pile in front of them.  When the tower topples, over after each person has 7 blocks, have students put their digits in order to make a number.  The student who can make the biggest number and read it wins the round.






2. Add It UpPlay Jenga using standard play rules, except do not have students return their blocks to the top. Instead, have each student keep the blocks they take in a pile in front of them. When the tower topples, over after each person has 7 blocks, have students add up their digits. The student whose blocks add up to the biggest number wins the round.


3. Order It – Play Jenga using standard play rules, except do not have students return their blocks to the top. Instead, have each student keep the blocks they take in a pile in front of them. When the tower topples, over after each person has 7 blocks,have students put their digits in order from least to greatest.  The student to get them in order the fastest wins the round.


4.  – Count Down from 100  - Each student starts the round with 100 points.  Play Jenga using standard play rules, except do not have students return their blocks to the top. Instead, have each student keep the blocks they take in a pile in front of them.  As they pull a block from the tower, they subtract the number on the block from their total of points.  The first person to reach 0 wins the round.









I hope some of these suggestions will allow you to use Jenga in a new, interesting way in your classrooms. Do you want other game suggestions for your classroom? Clck HERE for more Friday Night Game Suggestions to use in your classroom.  Keep playing games and watch your kids learn!


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