As I have shared previously, Immy is loving the challenge of learning simple addition and subtraction. I made up this simple decoding game on the fly one afternoon as I prepared afternoon tea – Immy often sits at our bench drawing or writing as I prepare meals and on this particular occasion she was looking for ‘something to do.’ Well, an hour later and we were still playing – she loved the idea of solving secret codewords! And we have played pretty much everyday since. These photos show some of the short and simple first rounds we played – the decoding challenges are much more extended now that I have seen how much she enjoys playing, with Immy now solving enough problems to decode a whole sentence at one time.
Maths Games: How to Play Equation Decoder
Recommended age: This game is suitable for children who have begun to learn to solve simple addition and subtraction number sentences. It can be modified according to the child’s level of mathematical ability by simply adjusting the difficulty of the mathematical problems used.
You will need:
- A writing surface and writing implement – we used a PP Multi Flash Lights Writing Pad (for those in Australia – they are available at K-mart for $9) but you could just as easily play on a magna doodle, chalkboard, whiteboard, iPad (in a drawing app) or on paper with a pen
1. Prepare a series of number sentences (equations) as shown below (addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, depending upon your child’s current learning and level of development). You will need one number sentence for each letter of your code word or sentence. Randomly allocate each number sentence a letter.
Below the number sentences draw a series of dashed lines, one to represent each letter of your code word or sentence. Below each dash write the number that corresponds with the letter for that space – so the number that will be your child’s correct answer to the equation.
2. Have your child answer the equations, writing the correct numerical answer in the space provided.
3. They can then use their answers to decode the secret code word (or sentence!)
Do you have a child learning to solve mathematical equations?
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