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## Making Addition Fun: An Inside Look at the Fishin’ Addition Game

As a math teacher, one of my continuous missions is to discover effective and engaging strategies to make math lessons more enjoyable for my students. Today, I would like to share with you a captivating activity that has made my addition lessons more exciting and fruitful: the Fishin’ Addition game.

Fishin’ Addition is an intuitive, game-based learning activity that enhances the mastery of basic addition facts. It incorporates the fun of a card game while stimulating mathematical thinking, making the learning process more engaging for students.

The rules of the game are straightforward, making it a breeze to incorporate into your math class. To begin, one player shuffles the cards, deals five cards to each player, and places the remainder of the deck face-down in the center of the table. Each player then discards pairs of matching cards, where a pair is defined as two cards from the same set. Each discarded pair is shown to the other players for verification. Once all matching pairs have been discarded, the game kicks off.

Play starts with the player to the dealer’s left and continues clockwise. When it’s a player’s turn, they ask the individual to their right for a card with a specific sum. For instance, they might request, “Give me a 6,” or “Give me an 11.” If the asked player possesses the requested card, they must give it up. If not, the asking player draws a card from the deck. Any pairs formed in the process are shown and discarded. The first player (or players, in the event of a tie) to run out of cards is declared the winner.

## Fishin’ Addition in Action: Gameplay Scenarios

To help you envision how Fishin’ Addition plays out, let’s go through a hypothetical game scenario with four players: Anna, Ben, Charlie, and Dana.

After the initial dealing phase, Anna gets pairs with sums of 8 and 9, Ben gets a pair summing to 3, Charlie gets no pairs, and Dana receives a pair with a sum of 10. They all discard their pairs, and then it’s Ben’s turn to kick off the game since he’s sitting to Dana’s left, the dealer.

Ben asks Anna for a card summing to ‘4’. Anna doesn’t have it, so Ben draws a card from the deck. It sums up to ‘3’, and Ben now has another pair which he promptly discards.

This pattern continues, with players asking for cards, forming pairs, and discarding them. The game continues until a player runs out of cards.

Fishin’ Addition is flexible and can be adjusted to suit your students’ abilities and learning styles. Here are some modifications and accommodations to consider:

1. Enhanced Fishin’ Addition: Once students are comfortable with basic addition facts, challenge them with larger sums or introduce cards with decimal or fraction sums to up the difficulty level.
2. Timed Fishin’ Addition: To promote quick recall of addition facts, consider setting a time limit for each turn.
3. Team Fishin’ Addition: For a more collaborative learning experience, you can modify the game into a team activity, encouraging discussion and strategic thinking.
4. Fishin’ Addition with Manipulatives: For younger students or those needing additional support, consider including manipulatives like counters or beads to represent the sums visually.

Fishin’ Addition is an excellent tool to reinforce basic addition facts in your math curriculum. You can use it as a warm-up game, acenter activity, or even as a go-to resource for early finishers. Its simple structure, combined with its ability to enhance math engagement and fact fluency, makes it a versatile and highly beneficial tool for your math classroom.

Additionally, Fishin’ Addition aligns with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics. Specifically, it supports standard 2.OA.B.2, which requires students to fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By the end of Grade 2, students should know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.

Fishin’ Addition can thus be a valuable tool to help your students meet this important milestone while keeping the learning process enjoyable and engaging.

## Promoting Effective Learning through Fishin’ Addition

Math should not be a subject that students dread. As educators, we must continuously innovate to develop strategies that help our students see the beauty of math. Fishin’ Addition is an excellent example of game-based learning that turns what could be a tedious activity into an exciting challenge.

Game-based learning has been proven to increase student engagement, improve retention, and even boost overall academic performance. When students are engaged and having fun, they are more likely to participate and absorb the material, leading to better learning outcomes.

Playing Fishin’ Addition can foster strategic thinking, as students must decide which sum to ask for, based on the cards they already have and their knowledge of what has already been played. It also encourages sportsmanship and fair play, since students must accurately report their pairs and play honestly.

Most importantly, Fishin’ Addition takes math off the paper and into students’ hands, making abstract concepts tangible and understandable. Students who struggle with traditional teaching methods may find that a game-based approach makes math more accessible and enjoyable.

Final Thoughts

Fishin’ Addition is more than just a game—it’s a powerful tool for teaching basic addition facts, promoting strategic thinking, and creating an engaging learning environment. So, take out your deck of cards and go fishing for some math fun!

By incorporating games like Fishin’ Addition into your classroom, you’ll not only meet curriculum standards but also create an environment where students are excited about learning. As the saying goes, “In the game of education, the goal isn’t to finish first. It’s to keep playing.”

And with Fishin’ Addition, your students will be eager to keep playing and learning.

CCSS Alignment: 2.OA.B.2: Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By the end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.