## MATH GAMES FOR ADULT AND CHILD

I'M THINKING OF A NUMBER

PLAY AFTER: COUNTING TILL YOU GET THERE, WHAT'S THE ...?, COUNTING BACKWARDS
PLAY WITH: COUNTING TILL YOU GET THERE, WHAT'S THE ...?
KEY QUESTIONS AND ACTIONS:
• Is it bigger than ten?
• It's bigger than five but not bigger than ten.
• Is it less than five?
• Is it bigger than a hundred?
• Is it even?
• Let me see if you have the 47 written on a piece of paper.
• The biggest obstacle to success is permitting the maximum number to be too large.
• GOOD AND CHALLENGING MAXIMUMS: 10, 20, 100.

Player 1: "I'm thinking of a number."

Player 2: "Is it bigger than ten?"

Player 1: "No."

Player 2: "Is it bigger than five?"

Player 1: "Yes."

Player 2: "It's bigger than 5 but not bigger than 10. Is it 10?"

Player 1: "Yes!" Pause. "I want to do it again. I'm thinking of a number."

Player 2: "O.K., is it bigger than 10?"

Player 1: "No."

Player 2: "Is it less than five?"

Player 1: "No."

Player 2: "It's bigger than four, but less than ten. Hmm, is it bigger than seven?"

Player 1: "Yes."

Player 2: "Is it ten?"

Player 1: "Oh. You guessed it again."

Player 1 was a young child, Player 2 an adult. Let's listen in on a games between an adult and an older child.

Player 1: "I'm thinking of a number."

Player 2: "Is it bigger than a hundred?"

Player 1: "No."

Player 2: "Is it less than fifty?"

Player 1: "Yes."

Player 2: "Is it bigger than sixty?"

Player 1: "No."

Player 2: "Ah. Is it bigger than forty?"

Player 1: "Yes."

Player 2: "Is it even?"

Player 1: "No."

Player 2: "Is it forty-three?"

Player 1: "No."

Player 2: "Is it forty-nine?"

Player 1: "No."

Player 2: "Is it bigger than forty-one?"

Player 1: "No."

Player 2: "Is it forty-seven?"

Player 1: "Yes," showing Player 2 the number 47 written on a piece of paper.

Children may forget the information their questions have obtained. They may not ask questions which will gain any or the most information, but, they will have fun playing the game if the numbers are small enough and if they achieve some success in guessing the numbers.

They should be learning the words and phrases: is greater than, is less than, even, and odd. They should be becoming familiar with each number's size relative to the size of other numbers.

The biggest obstacle to success with I'M THINKING OF A NUMBER is permitting the maximum number, or upper limit, in the game to be too large a number. With the very young, ten is a good and challenging maximum. I would not recommend playing this game at all with children who are not thoroughly familiar with the numbers one through ten and their relative sizes.

With a slightly more advanced child, twenty is a good maximum. The next maximum might be 100. Children should have played COUNTING TILL YOU GET THERE through 100 many times before the maximum of 100 is attempted.

Children should continue COUNTING TILL YOU GET THERE through 200 and 300 before playing I'M THINKING OF A NUMBER with numbers greater than 100.

Very few kindergartners are really ready for maximum numbers greater than 100. Children may think they are ready for the larger numbers but, are probably not. Don't agree to playing the game unless you feel the maximum number is appropriate.

If you do play this game with a child who can write numbers, please have the chooser, Player 1, write down the chosen number. If the child cannot write down the number, play anyway and hope the child will remember the number he or she has chosen.

As I think back to the games my son and I played even as he became an older child, I have good memories of playing I'M THINKING OF A NUMBER. As Mike learned new adjectives or adjective phrases for describing numbers such as odd or even, prime, composite, multiple of, or factor of, the phrase would be incorporated into the game. It's a game you need not really stop playing. On a long ride when small talk or major conversation had long been exhausted, I'M THINKING OF A NUMBER would conjure up warm memories of an earlier time and we'd play one more time.