Friday, February 3, 2023

G.L.A.S. Game

 I'm very excited to share this game with you. Jenisa Henry invented it for our senior math game seminar, and it shows a LOT of promise.  As she pitches it, it's an early elementary game, but it is highly suited for variations I'll discuss after you hear from Jenisa.

Her rules printout in on Google drive: She writes this about the game development:

My brainstorming for G.L.A.S. first started because I knew I wanted to create a game I can play in my future lower elementary classroom. Knowing that these years it is important to learn simple addition and subtraction facts while understanding equalities I toyed around with the first version of this game. It started with players using their top four cards to create an equality, then use their biggest sum to compare to the opponents biggest sum. It was rough to begin with, until I found the game more or less. This game solidified my idea on wanting to pursue designing a game with equalities. Though, I knew I wanted to add in another element to it, that was the addition and subtraction. Once I added that element to the game, I knew I had to think of a method for making the calls. I knew adding this element would offer choice to the players. I’ve learned to value games that have choices for the players as it makes them feel more active in playing. Once I added that, the game was great. I loved it and it was fun to play.

However, there was still something missing. An element of surprise was just what the game needed and that is when the Queen chance card came into play. This added the perfect amount of randomness that the game needed. After the playtesting went well, I knew it was exactly what I wanted the game to become.

G.L.A.S. is a great game that all teachers for 2nd-3rd grade should have their students playing. There are many reasons students should play this game, many benefits for the students to gather. Most simply, addition and subtraction facts are majorly important for the students to recall as they progress through their schooling. Additionally, the exploration of greater than and less than is the beginning of a building block for equalities. It is also a game of strategy. By using the cards in the players’ hand they need to strategically pick what they want to call. Further, they have to decide what two cards to operate on to get a sum that may satisfy the called equality. My personal favorite is when we have greater than for the equality and subtraction for the operation or less than and addition.

There is another variation to this game that has an emphasis on place value. Players will still call an equality, though instead of an operation they’ll pick the desired length of the number 1 digits-4 digits. All other rules still apply as far as card values, though 10’s do represent 2-digits. This game is very interesting as many variations can be created. As another example, this game can be played where the operation is strictly multiplication, a fraction version could even be created. Changing the game in these ways extends it to reach more grade levels as well as more areas within the mathematics realm.

For me, the break through of this game is the double choice. Giving both players significant choices each turn really makes this one of the best computation games I've seen. The adaptability is significant. In addition to place value, they experimented with multiplication and division, which would be good 5th-8th grade. You could do two digit computations (draw 6 cards), or even mix, 2 cards +/– 1 card.

Also for the course, teachers make a video for a game they want to promote. Jenisa chose +/– 24.

Explaining why this game, she writes: 

+/- 24 makes a phenomenal classroom game because of its quick nature and simple materials. Only requiring three simple materials that typically already reside in the classroom requires less preparation time for any teacher or helper. With simple rules, students will be able to grasp the game fairly easily. With there being many ways to create the desired outcome, there are multiple entry points for any and all students. This allows for students to stick to addition and subtraction, if they need or use the alternative operations if they feel comfortable. This is also a great game to use to bring attention to the associative and commutative properties. All the while, students are manipulating numbers to get their desired result. There is both strategy and critical thinking within this game, allowing students to be challenged when playing.

I agree! 

If you get a chance to play GLAS or try it with kids, I would love to hear about it!

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