|by easylocum @ Flickr|
There was quite a bit of content value to students adding their move to their position, and a few that struggle with decimal operations really took to the idea of nickels, dimes and quarters. When demonstrating or playing with students, I encourage you to show different ways to figure out how far your move takes you.
I modeled for them a couple ways to design. Put in 9 values, then figure out the last to make 2.00; adjusting from a previous spinner design by moving around tenths or 5 hundredths; or thinking of having $2, and spreading it out among the slots. Many students were enthralled by the 9 zeroes spinner, but no one chose the 10 times .2 spinner. One team asked if it was okay to design multiple spinners and switch during the game. I said if it was okay with their opponents, since it was mathematically okay, if they were all fair spinners.
If you don't have clear overlay spinners, you can get by just as easily with a bobby pin. Hold the pin at the center with a pen or pencil and spin away. (The fifth graders found bobby pins to be an interesting subject... go figure.)
The squares along the bottom are for making game pieces to move around the board. Some students really got into it because they could decorate their spinner and game piece. That makes me think of the whole player psychographic thing that game designers think of, and wonder why I have never applied it to teaching before. (First guess: many unengaged students are Vorthos, and many teachers design lessons for Melvins.)
Decimal Race Board
It does occur to me that different spinners are better or worse depending on the game's special squares or conditions. Of course, if students are thinking about this, more power to them. They deserve to get to Candyland.
Feedback always appreciated! (Seldom received. Sigh.)