The goal of Spot it! is to be the fastest player to spot and call out the matching symbol between two cards. There are 55 cards, each with 8 symbols. Between any two cards there is one, and only one, matching symbol. How did the designers accomplish this? Sue VanHattum explores this question on her blog, Math Mama Writes.
In addition to thinking “How did they do that?” I started thinking about creating a smaller math version of Spot it! What if, rather than symbols, students matched equivalent expressions? A game might consist of 21 cards, each with 5 expressions (e.g., , , , , and ).
I began by creating 7 cards, each with 3 letters. While I was trying to create 13 cards, each with 4 letters, I finally asked “Why am I doing this?” Okay, so the game might be fun for some students, but would it increase their conceptual understanding? Of course not. We’re talkin’ about practice.
I have decided to walk away from creating these types of activities. It won’t be easy. The card stock! The laminator! The paper cutter! I love these things more than a grown man should. I’m quitting. Cold turkey.
But first, check out my latest Tarsia jigsaws…