Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Top-It Tray Freebie

Hey there. Super fast post just to give you a math freebie. I bet you know the math game Top-It. Top-It has been around for years known as the card game War. I remember my two daughters playing it for hours on long vacation car rides, once playing into the night with the help of traffic headlights as we looped around DC's beltway. snort. Top-It gives students practice with number ID and fluency in number value– namely, which of two numbers between 1-10 is greater. When my kidpeople were first learning the game this year there was just way too much time going into figuring out where the card stacks go. So I came up with a Top-It Tray. I think I'll always teach the game with this now because it makes things so much easier.

Two players share one tray. They each place their cards of 1-10 in a shuffled pile on their corner.

Then on the count of "1-2-turn" (at least that's what we say in our room) they each turn over a card.

The player who turned over the bigger number gathers both cards and puts them in his "winning pile" on top.

When someone runs out of cards to turn over, both players gather their own winning piles, shuffles them, and places them in their own corners again so the play can continue. The rounds continue until someone runs completely out of cards. The one with all the cards is the winner.

This game has become a big hit. In part it is so popular because there actually is a winner– so few of our games in class are competitive that Top-It has a definite novelty factor. Don't get me wrong, winning games have a place in life, but I think that in most instances competition takes away from classroom learning games. Maybe I've followed Alfie Kohn too long. smile.

Click on the pic below to download the simple sheet. I copied a classroom set on colored cardstock and laminated them so they'll last a long time. When playing I usually place the sheet on a plastic tray so the cards don't slide off. We use regular playing cards, with the Ace as the number one card, but you can play with any number cards you have. And you can let kids play with double the number of 1-10 cards, or even with a hand of 1-20 each.

Thanks for stopping by! Pin, please.

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