Kids like games. Games are social, games offer a challenge, games are fun. Dr. Joan Cotter offers Math Card Games as a fun supplement to her RightStart Math curriculum, reinforcing her mantra that the only people who enjoy flashcards are those who don't need them. None of the card packs are flashcards exactly, but they serve the same purpose—reinforcing the math concepts kids learn without adding the burden of more schoolwork.
300 math card games are presented in eight chapters arranged by subject, from numeration to addition to clocks and fractions. Cards are simple, with numerals and symbols printed on colored cardstock. Each game builds on the ones before it, each is typically short, and each is clearly presented with brief but thorough instructions. Cotter suggests playing each game, but to let kids decide which ones they want to play over and over, as they'll naturally prefer some over others, and the goal is to have students solidify their math skills while enjoying themselves.
Many of the games require an AL Abacus, and others require printouts included in the appendix at the back of the book. Games are intended to provide a forum for developing concrete and mental work before paper work, minimize counting as a method for problem-solving, and improve logical thinking. Most games cannot be won if mistakes are made, so there is a method for detecting and correcting error as it occurs, not waiting for a week until a marked-up paper is returned to the student.
A section at the back includes 31 games originally only found in the RightStart curriculum guides. They're fairly basic, though some require the AL Abacus or other supplements. A DVD provides instruction for fourteen of the games; it can be useful for getting started, but is by no means necessary.This is an incredibly versatile book, and while its methodology works best alongside the RightStart texts, you can use these games to supplement whatever math curriculum your children happen to be using. A great hands-on resource, Cotter's book offers a much-needed dose of fun for an often dreary subject.
Did you find this review helpful?