## Sunday, July 29, 2012

### Educational Connect 4 Games

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.

****  It’s been WAY too long since I got to a Game Night post.  I’m so sorry guys – between the move and Ramadan, I’ve been asleep too early most Friday nights to get these posts written. (Aren’t I just a party animal?)  Anyways, I know it’s Sunday, but there is this week’s Friday Game Night Post.   ****

Connect 4 - Part 1 (Math)

Connect 4 is one of my kids favorite games.  It’s a great strategy game, but 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 yellow and red checkers.

1. How Many Points Can You Get Before You Win? – Here’s an easy, fast paced way for kids to work on mental math.  Each checker they use gives them the number of points listed on it.  However, kids have to add as they are playing.  As soon as someone gets a line of 4, students write down the number of points they think they have.  Then, students write down their numbers and check their mental math.  If there mental math was correct – they get 5 extra points.  If they got a line of 4 – they get 5 extra points.

2. Fill ‘Em Up & Add ‘Em Up – Let kids play until someone wins.  Then, once someone wins, they will record all of the piece played on a piece of paper and add each column and row. Grab this free recording sheet from Google Docs.

3. Create Fractions – Let kids play until someone wins. Then, have them create fractions based on the game board. For example, they may create a fraction of the number of red pieces used, out of the total pieces used – or the number of red pieces used, out of the total number of red pieces.  They may also use the numbers of the checker pieces – for example, how many even numbers were used, out of the total pieces used.

4.  Find a Humongous Number - Let kids play until someone wins. Then, once someone wins, they will record all of the piece played on a piece of paper.  Next, students can find and compare numbers made in the columns and rows.  Grab this free recording sheet from Google Docs.

I hope some of the ideas will help you use Connect 4 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.