Today we spent the double maths block learning all about Yahtzee. Many thanks to my grade 4 boys who learnt how to play this last year and assisted me in helping the class today; much appreciated. One boy and I modelled the process and explained the possibilities. Students were only permitted to use calculators to ascertain their final score.
As a primary school teacher, I often have parents asking me what extra things they can do with their children to help develop their maths. My reply is always “Please play board games'. There are myriads of both educational and developmental benefits that children gain when playing certain games. Both my own children played Yahtzee with their father and myself on many occasions and I found it a great way to consolidate their lateral thinking, their understanding of chance and also of coures the very important computational skills involving addition and multiplication.
Yahzee is quite a complex game and uses five dice at a time. This allows children to start working with larger numbers and adding up multiple groups. Children can be encouraged to use facile strategies when adding up (for example, using their friends of ten, known doubles, etc).
The game also provides children an introduction to multiplication without them even knowing it! When scoring for fives, all answers are multiple of fives. When they learn how to skip count, it helps them add up even quicker! For example, if they roll five 5s, they can count it up by going 'five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five', instead of counting all the dots on the dice one by one.