You can use the game Speed to practise addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. Let’s start with Addition Speed.
· Use a deck of cards, remove all the face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings), explain that Aces have a value of 1.
· Shuffle what remains of the deck and deal out all the cards between two players. Each player keeps all cards face down in a pile, as in the picture above.
· Dealer gives a signal, which might just be the word “go” and both players turn over their top card. The first player to give the correct sum of both cards wins both cards.
· If both players say the correct sum at the same time, then it begins a battle for the tie cards (not a war!) and each player turns over the top card again until there is a clear winner and that player wins the tie cards as well.
· Continue in this manner until all the cards have been played. The winner is the player who won the most cards.
· For Subtraction Speed, the players want to be the first to say the correct difference of the two cards, just have them take away the smaller number from the bigger number.
· For Multiplication Speed, the players want to be the first to say the correct product of the two card numbers multiplied together.
· For Division Speed, the players want to be the first to say the correct dividend by considering one card number to be the divisor and the other two be the quotient. For example, if a 3 and a 2 are turned over the players would need to think what? divided by 2 equals 3 or what? divided by 3 equals 2. However once a child plays this game, they will probably realize that it’s really just Multiplication Speed. But it forces them to think of the relationship between division and multiplication to reach this conclusion.
· To make the Speed game easier, use two dice. That way the numbers to be added or subtracted are 6 or less.
· To make the Speed game harder, include the Jack as 11, the Queen as 12, and the King as 13.
· To make Addition Speed harder, include another player or more. You could do this for Subtraction Speed as well but if you take away the two smaller numbers from the biggest number, then the answer might be a negative digit.
Now if your child complains about having to practise their basic math facts, you can always give them a choice of Speed, flash cards, or worksheets. Choice always makes the work go down easier!