Monday, March 18, 2013

First to 50 (Fractions of Groups Game)

There's nothing like a parent-teacher conference to inspire new deceptively educational games. That was the case with this activity. My son's teacher mentioned that fractions of groups was on the lesson plan for the final trimester and that it can often be a struggle for kids.

Here's the little game I cooked up to help my son master this skill.

Not knowing how much he'd need to be challenged, I created one card game with three levels of difficulty. (Click on the level or the cards below to download a 3-page PDF of each.)

Level 1 is the easiest with a grid of squares, with the representative fraction of them filled in.

Level 2 provides the same visual cues (a grid of squares) that Level 1 provides, but the representative fraction of squares is NOT filled in.

Level 3 is the most challenging. There are no visual cues to help players. They must think through the problem in their heads.

How to Play
Playing is simple. Get some glass babbles (those flattened marbles from the craft store floral department) to use as a manipulative. One by one players take turns, turning over the cards in the deck (print 2-3 copies of the level of your choice or mix them together) and solve the problem. 

If the player answers correctly, they get to take the number of babbles in the answer. Colored cards have high-number answers.

But, wait, there are some "Put Back" cards in the deck!! If a player gets one of these cards, when they solve the problem, the answer is the number of babbles they must return to the "draw" pile of babbles. If they don't have enough, they just put back all that they have.

How to Win
The first player to get 50 babbles wins (or if you're having tons of fun, play until 100 like my son and I did). Encourage players to put their babbles in groups of ten to make counting them easier. 


  1. What AWESOME activities and ways to differentiate! Thank you so much. I just gave you the "SomeBUNNY loves your blog" shout out on my blog that is taking place through Christina Bainbridge's Linky Party. Thank you for always sharing with us!
    The Techie Teacher

  2. Such a fun idea. I found you from The Techie Teacher's shout out. I'm a new follower.
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  3. As I am afraid of all things math, I so appreciate when you provide me with a way to make math 'fun.' :)

  4. Wow! Do you not sell on Teachers pay Teachers? This is adorable, can't believe it's free.

    1. Every one of my printables is free. I don't do this to make money. It's a hobby that fills my cup and my son's brain. If others benefit, that's even better! I'm glad you found my blog. I hope you'll stop by often!

  5. hey! I am a science highschool teacher turned homeschool mom on my little bitties and it is my joy and passion to teach and inspire my kids...and I have honestly never seen a site or a mom so wonderfully creative and in tune with her child's learning style and love of play! it is so beautiful! and thank you for sharing so much! I have downloaded countless things in the past couple days since happening upon your site!

  6. This is wonderful!! Thank you!

  7. Love this idea! Thank you! How do I download?

    1. Click on the graphics of the individual cards to access Google Drive to download the cards. If you have trouble, email me and I'll reply with the file(s) attached.

  8. This is just fine. I'll bet your son is a math whiz. Thank you so much for sharing. I tutor a lot and this is just the sort of game I'd like to use with one of my students.

    (The editor in me can't resist. I think you mean bauble instead of babble.)

  9. This is an awesome game. I LOVE it. We play many that are similar, but I like that you have provided the cards at 3 levels. Thanks for sharing this. I will Pinterest it and will most definitely be making it.


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