Have you hit the mid-November slump yet? Thankfully, I haven’t, but it’s mostly because we started our school year late this year. If you have, I have just the thing: a brand new math games book! Math games add that spark to our homeschool week that makes me, the mama, feel like I can go on one more day. That may sound a bit melodramatic, but when you’re the mama doing math with three different children daily (and entertaining a three-year-old in the middle of all that!), it is pretty close to the truth. 🙂 We’re math games fans from way back, having used Right Start Math and its math games book from the very beginning of our homeschool journey. However, I like a bit of variety in my weeks, so I’m always on the lookout for new-to-us games. I discovered Denise Gaskins’ Let’s Play Math website several years ago, and I have since considered her both an online mentor in the math education department and a kindred spirit.

*Multiplication & Fractions: Math Games for Tough Topics* by Denise Gaskins is book three in her Math You Can Play series. (You can read my review of the first two books here.) I’m so excited that she has written a book that will benefit my older children! This book consists of four sections:

- “A Strategy for Learning”
- “Multiplication and Fraction Games”
- “Playing to Learn Math”
- “Resources and References”

Sections one and three are common to all of the Math You Can Play books, and they’re the place to learn the nitty-gritty behind Gaskins’ philosophy. Section two, of course, is where the magic happens: four chapters’ worth of math games dealing with mathematical models, the times table, mixed operations, and fractions and decimals. A total of twenty-five games are detailed in this book, with countless variations. My girls and I have already tested out a game called Distributive Dice from the “Mixed Operations” chapter, and we found it lots of fun. I love that it provides opportunities for deep thought about the way multiplication works. Manipulating the numbers into different sums, differences, and products increases the brain’s facility for mathematical thinking!

We’ve also tried out a fractions game called My Nearest Neighbor. This game involves comparing fractions and determining which one is closer to certain unit fraction or integers. This necessitates converting fractions to like terms and then comparing them. Because this is not something that Louise has mastered yet, I put Lulu in the “teacher” role and let her explain each fraction to Louise. We all enjoyed playing this a lot, and the fraction chart got a workout.

I’m eager to try more of the games from this book. One thing I really love about Denise Gaskins’ books is that she gives you practically everything you need to play the games: the games either require common household items (like basic playing cards, tokens or small toys for game pieces, etc.) or she offers them as free downloads on her website. [Note: the cards above are not from the book; they’re from the RightStart math games kit.]

In the very last chapter of the book Gaskins delves further into her philosophy and confronts “Workbook Syndrome”–

a distressing malady that afflicts children in public, private, and homes schools across our country. A child suffering from this disease has learned to do calculations on a school math page but cannot make sense of numbers in real life.

She offers many tools and tricks for making math more playful and providing a balance between the pencil-and-paper work and mental math, including memorization. In the last section of the book, Gaskins provides all kinds of helpful information, including the basics of game-playing and some of her favorite resources.

Reading one of Gaskins’ books is like going to a really great teacher workshop–part philosophy, part practical ideas, and all excellent. She just oozes expertise and enthusiasm. Truly–the depth of her knowledge and her ability to communicate it are life-giving to a homeschooling mama. I couldn’t recommend this book, or her others, more highly.

And so, dear readers, I am pleased to announce that the author has offered one reader here at Hope Is the Word a copy of this brand new book–winner’s choice of either the e-book or the paperback! Here’s how you enter:

- Leave a comment and tell me your favorite math game (one entry)
- Like Hope Is the Word on FB (one entry)
- Follow Hope Is the Word on Instagram (one entry)
- Share my FB and/or IG post about the giveaway on your own FB and/or IG page (up to two entries)

Please leave a separate comment for each of the above things you do, and be sure to put your email address in one of the comments. 🙂

This giveaway will end at one week from today, Friday, November 25, at 9 p.m.

{Disclosure: I read a pre-publication version of the ebook in order to write this review. The link is an affiliate link to Amazon.}

Katharine Wise

One of our favorite math games is a paper and pencil one from Marilyn Burns, “Four Strikes You’re Out”. It’s essentially hangman with a mathematical equation, except you get keep score with four strike boxes instead of a noose.

Amy

I’d like to read the instructions for that! Sounds fun!

Katharine Wise

I’d already liked your FB page, so I’m not sure if that counts!

Amy

It does! 🙂

Katharine Wise

Shared on FB. (I don’t use IG much, and couldn’t figure out how to share there. I saw how to share from IG to FB, but not on IG itself.)

Amy

I think you have to use a separate app–at least that’s what I’ve figured.

Nelleke

My boys favourite math game is a homemade board game called Fast Track (I think) from Peggy Kaye’s Games for Math.

Nelleke

Liked on FB.

Nelleke

Shared from my blog page on Facebook. Couldn’t figure out how to share things in instagram, but I “hearted” the giveaway post. 🙂 Can you tell I want to win this thing? My email address is nellekeplouffe2 AT yahoo DOT ca.

Amy

I’m a IG rookie, but from what I can tell you have to have a different app to reshare posts on IG. 🙂

juanita

Our favorite math game right now is Zeus on the Loose. I have one who loves games and one who resists.

Catherine Hooper

This looks so promising. We also like Right Start math games.

Betsy

We love math games, too! Currently, the top faves are two games I made up with dominos. One is basically multiplication war where everyone multiplies the two sides of the domino they drew firm the pile and the person with the highest product wins. The other one involves finding equivalent fractions.

Amanda C

We love Swim to Ten (a RightStart Math game) and Shut the Box. Thanks for the chance to win!

Amanda C

Liked of FB 🙂

Dinah

Our favourite math game is a leapfrog addition and subtraction one; we would love to have the opportunity to try out a book full of math games!

Dinah

I like you on fb!

Jeni Gongwer

We like to play “Go to the Dump” for a variety of math facts. I’d love to see this new book full of games!

Jeni Gongwer

Just liked your fb page

Jeni Gongwer

I already follow you on IG. I am mamato3cs.

Chantelle grubbs

Favorite math game is Corners from Right Start.

Chantelle grubbs

I like your FB page already!

Chantelle grubbs

I like your Instagram

Chantelle grubbs

Shared on FB

stephanie

Interested! We play a lot of Board Slam right now (CC’s big math game that leads to their national number knockout contest) and I’ve been amazed at the progress I’ve seen in N2. B could DEFINITELY use some more fun in working on those math facts!

stephanie

I follow you on IG. 🙂

stephanie

And on Facebook… 🙂

Nicola

Grasshopper math from Peggy Kate is a favorite here! Thanks for the give-away!!

Nicola

I already like you on Facebook! 🙂

(Sorry, but I am not on Instagram!)

Nicola

I shared your give-away on my FB page.

Amanda E.

New to your blog (thanks Nicola!) — “liked” you on FB.

Amanda E.

A new favorite math game for us is Pyramid (from Peggy Kaye’s book). Thank you for offering this giveaway, I’m going to look at her books now!

Amanda E.

Shared on my FB page.

Dawn U

I have a 6 year old and 8 year old and they love to play fairy Queen together. It is a card game that adds by 2’s and 5’s. They also enjoy zeus on the loose.

Dawn U

Liked on fb

Dawn U

Following on ig

Phoebe

Our current favorite math game uses Cuisenaire rods and is from an Education Unboxed video- “What’s in the Box?” is the game.

Phoebe

I liked your FB page. Thanks for the giveaway.

Phoebe

I liked you on Instagram (Live Oak School).

Erinne

Looks great! Our favorite math game is backgammon.

Sarah

I’m not sure if any of our games count as math games…

Our first son loves Qwirkle 😉

Sarah

I forgot about the money counting/changing in Monopoly! =-)

Sarah

I already like you on FB! 🙂

Angela

Just one favorite math game?! It’s so hard to choose. Lately we’ve been enjoying “Close to 100.”

Angela

Shared on IG

Angela

Shared on FB

Angela

Liked on FB

Angela

Liked on IG

Vanessa Wright

Shared on fb 🙂

Vanessa Wright

Like you on FB (and I just plain like you anyway)

Vanessa Wright

I’m following you on IG too!

Vanessa Wright

Favorite math games are Math Dice, Yahtzee and my kids love Monopoly. Oh, and we love Time Bingo 🙂