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Math Games, Level C: Centers for Up to Six Players Review by Cindy West

Joy Evans, Jo Ellen Moore, Lisa Vitarisi Mathews
Evan-Moor Educational Publisher
18 Lower Ragsdale Drive
Monterey, CA 93940-5746

If your second or third grader responds well to games during math time, this book just might be a hit in your home. Seven full-color games are included in the book and cover the math skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, money, time, and fractions.

Up to six people can play each game, but only two people are necessary. The directions are easy to read and follow, so siblings can play the games without a parent's help. An answer key is included with each game to allow for self-checking, which is a big plus for me.

Each game comes with a directions page, a game board, playing cards and an answer key. All the pages and pieces must be cut out by an adult before game playing is possible. Even though all the game pages are printed on paper that is a bit thicker than regular paper, for the sake of durability it is suggested that everything be laminated. You will need to have closable envelopes or folders to keep the game parts together, as well as brown paper bags and objects to serve as game markers (such as beans or chips).

Also included with each game are two reproducible worksheet pages that reinforce the game's skill. These can be used as pretests and posttests to determine if the games helped build your child's skills, if you so desire.

Other than the time and cost of laminating, putting the games together is very easy. There aren't an abundance of things to cut out and sliding all the pieces into an 8½ x 11" envelope is simple. I love the fact that the games are self-checking, so the children can play by themselves. I also love that they are colorful, hands-on, and fun. My children didn't get bored, yet they were able to practice important facts that otherwise might be boring.

The publisher suggests these games for 2nd and 3rd graders, but I believe the games could be appropriate for 1st through 4th grades, depending on the ability of your child. Addition and subtraction facts to 18, multiplication and division facts to 9, coins and bills, time to the half and quarter hour, and simple fractions are covered.

Would I buy this book of games if it didn't come to me as a review? The only reason I have to answer "no" is because of the laminating. As homeschoolers, we typically don't have free and convenient access to a laminator. If the pages were printed on a thick cardstock, my answer would change to a very big "Yes"! The games are fun and do their job as great skill builders.

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2008