Some years I'm fortunate to be able to lead a capstone seminar where future teachers research math games and develop a math game of their own.
Gretchen Zeuch developed Fraction Reaction to be a simple to learn, easy to play, fast game that works on fraction magnitude and mixed number fraction equivalence.
The process of making this game had many stages. The first stage was deciding what kind of materials I wanted to use in my game. I decided to use a standard deck of cards because I really wanted to make a game that was accessible to every classroom. I then had to pick the mathematical content I wanted my game to be based on. I started by just laying out all the cards in a standard deck and brainstorming different mathematical content. I finally landed on fractions because I liked the students being able to physically see it. I then decided that making the connection between improper fractions and mixed fractions would be the most helpful. I then went through a lot of trial and error by playing the game with a variety of people. This helped me decide how points would work, specialty cards, and general playing rules.
This game is great to teach in a classroom when students are learning about improper and mixed fractions. It is very easy to teach to students as well as all students will be able to play at the same time because of the accessibility of the materials. This game will help students make the connection between an improper fraction and a mixed number. They will also be able to compare the sizes of mixed numbers and improper fractions so identify which is larger and which is smaller. Overall, this game is simple to understand and helps to solidify students' understanding of improper fractions and mixed numbers.
There are a few different uses for this game in a classroom. The first use is that, while students play, you can have them record all of their improper fractions turned into mixed numbers and then have them sort them on a number line. Another use is for students to record their answers during the game and then answer some comparison questions at the end. Lastly, another in class use for this game is to have students discuss the differences between fractions and mixed numbers and how they relate to each other.
In addition, Gretchen made a video to promote the integer game, Zero Rummy. She writes: This is a great game to use with young children to get them working on their addition and subtraction or to help introduce the concept of negative numbers. This game should be used as a fun exercise rather than to teach a skill. The great thing about this game is that it is stimulating for children so that they are doing math without knowing they are. It is very easy to use in the classroom with minimal materials and does not take up a large chunk of time. Children really enjoy this game and it is a very easy game to play for many ages with multiple variations.