I am a stay-at-home mom, but I have a background in education. I have worked in the classroom, but the majority of my teaching career was spent running my own tutoring business. Working one on one with kids was ideal for me. The lack of school politics was also appealing. I have so much appreciation for our teachers, and I hope you do too. They work so hard with lesson plans, grading, report card writing, continued education, meetings – not to even mention the time they spend teaching and caring for our kids. I want to help support our teachers and my kids by supplementing what is going on in the class. I have been a proponent that you are the number one educator of your child. Math War is a game I played with my tutoring students and am now playing with my kids to help further their math skills. For more math games, please visit my math activities tab.
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Math War is a simple adjustment of the card game “War.” This game can help your child work on addition, subtraction, multiplication or division facts. When working with my kids on these skills, I like to teach through games. Kids learn through play, and when you make it fun it doesn’t feel like they are doing work. I also know it is great to incorporate different sensory experiences. Even just working with flipping cards adds a physical element that helps a child develop. I like to practice with my kids in fun ways and then let them work on a more traditional worksheet, which becomes a lot more easy for them because of their practice. This also helps them solidify their learning through written work. Here are some links to some “straight forward” math workbooks: Grade 1 Addition (Kumon Math Workbooks), Grade 2 Subtraction (Kumon Math Workbooks), Multiplication Straight Forward, and Division Straight Forward Math By Garlic Press.
Materials Needed to Play Math War
- Deck of Cards OR….
- Addition Flashcards OR…
- Subtraction Flash Cards OR…
- Multiplication Flash Cards OR…
- Division Flashcards
How to Play Math War
Math War is almost exactly like normal war, but you are comparing the answer of a math problem to see who has the biggest solution. If you don’t know the normal rules of war, please see them here.
If you are using a regular deck of cards, you can play addition or multiplication war most effectively. All you do is choose a number that you want to work on. For example, you might decide you are going to practice multiplying or adding by the number 4. Therefore if you flip over a 9 while playing and are working on multiplication, your number that you are comparing against your opponent is 4×9 or 36. If you flip over a 3, your number would be 4×3 or 12. Working on one number set (like multiplication by 4’s) means you get repetitive and yet fun practice on a focused group of problems. In math war using a normal deck of cards, Ace’s are a 1, jacks are an 11 and kings and queens are both valued at 12.
If you are using a flashcard set, you will be able to work on addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. You shuffle up the flashcards that work on a given math skill and pass them out evenly to all players. Again, the solution to the problem is the number you are comparing against your opponent(s).
A fun twist is that I tell my kids I might intentionally try and get a problem wrong. If they catch me with a wrong solution, they get to win the round. Further, you can also catch them with a wrong answer, which means you automatically get the cards.
It’s often hard to find the time, but I still encourage you to have fun learning with your kids and supplementing the work that is being done at skill.