GUEST POST by Sam Bosma.

**Learning to Go Forwards to Go Backwards**

Many of us remember ‘learning’ multiplication in second or third grade. I remember ‘learning’ multiplication in 3rd grade through the use of flashcards. It didn’t matter what was happening behind the scenes just as long as I got the right answer/ could memorize the answer.

Too often with multiplication, we see children simply memorizing that, for example, 3 x 8 is 24 and not really understanding the ‘why’ behind how it works. The problem with this memorization is that once students move on to division, we see them getting very quickly. This makes sense since how can we expect students to go backwards (the undoing of multiplication) if they can’t even move forwards (multiplication).

In the game I have invented, Multiply Who?, my attempt is to have student thinking more deeply about multiplication instead of simply memorizing. In this game, students will have to find patterns and think about the components of each number in order to ask the most strategic questions in order to guess an opponent’s number.

If you are interested in learning more about this game, watch the video down below or click here for the instructions and rules.

John's postscript: I got to see one of the playtests of this game with a class of 5th graders and was impressed. The format of the game works really well for 2 on 2 playing. And though Sam put the sheets in sleeves, you could play directly on a printup as well. And the game is highly adaptable to level, by modifying the sheet. But the best thing to me is that this could definitely lead to students making up a sheet for playing and really getting to do the math.

**Make It, Take It**

In addition to making their own game, the teachers made a video for a game of their choice that they'd like to see in a classroom. Sam chose Make It, Take It, a money game I made up a long time ago for a teacher that wanted a money game for 2nd year.

Again, highly adaptable. It's nice how just the progression of play gets players to think of new combinations.

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