## Saturday, June 16, 2012

### Hungry, Hungry, Hippo 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:

Hungry, Hungry, Hippos - Part 1 (Math)

Hungry, Hungry Hippos is a fun game for kids, because it moves fast and is quite noisy.  Here are some suggestions on some ways to make it educational.  For each of these variations, use a permanent marker to write a single digit number (0-9) on each of the white marbles.  Another possibility, is to exchange the white marbles for colored marbles and assign each color a value (blue=1, green=2, red=3, yellow=4 etc.)

1. Biggest Number/ Smallest Number – Allow students to play as normal, but once they have “eaten” all of their marbles, challenge the students to use those marbles to create the biggest number possible with those digits they “ate”.  Or even more challenging, have them make the smallest number possible.

2. Biggest Sum – Allow students to play as normal, but once they have “eaten” all of their marbles, challenge the students to use those marbles to create an addition problem with the biggest possible sum.  Grab this free sheet from Google Docs to help your students with this process.

3. Add & Compare– Allow students to play as normal, but once they have “eaten” all of their marbles, challenge the students to use those marbles to add the numbers on all of the marbles they “ate”.  Then allow the students to all compare sums.  The student with the biggest sum wins the game!

4. Compile & Explain – Allow students to play as normal, but once they have “eaten” all of their marbles, allow the students to use those marbles to create a number.  Once they have created a number, use this free sheet from Google Docs to allow your students to explain their number, thereby building those critical thinking skills!

I hope some of the ideas will help you use Hungry, Hungry Hippos in a new, different way. Find more ways to use board games in your room by clicking HERE. Keep playing games and watching your students learn.

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