Thursday, 18 October 2012

Original Lesson 28: Poker Chip Decimals

Last week I ran a lesson on ordering, adding and subtracting decimals and to spice up the rather bland topic decided to add a poker element to it.

Having found some poker chips in my storeroom, I scattered them around my students' desks and my flexible learning space in random piles of about three or four chips beside some numbered cards.

I assigned a money value to each colour chip:
- Red = 5c or $0.05
- Blue = 10c or $0.10
- Green = 20c or $0.20
- White = 50c or $0.50
- Black = $1.00

Students were then asked to complete the tasks below, with various differentiation points according to their groupings:

- Figure out what amount of money each pile contains, eg pile 23 = $1.75

- Order the piles from smallest to largest value

- Add two piles together (repeat 10 times)

- Extension students figured out how much 'money' was in our room in total manually

- Choose one larger pile and one smaller pile and find the difference between their value (subtraction) (repeat 10 times)

It was amazing how much my students' mental computation enhanced by having a real-life connection to the math, that being money. One of the aides in my room also commented that the students were really engaged by and enjoying the lesson. Pretty simple way to spice up what could have otherwise been a fairly straightfoward, bland decimal lesson.

How have you taught decimals, addition or subtraction in a slightly more creative manner?

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