Work of the Week

This week’s “Work of the Week” is the Stamp Game

Purpose:  The stamp game is a tool for learning and reinforcing knowledge of the four maths operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Typically it is used by children (5 years +) for both static and dynamic (carrying the 1) equations. The stamp game directly corresponds to the golden bead material which gave the child exposure to the decimal system.  It is just more abstract, yet concretely demonstrates the maths process to young children. It prepares the child for pencil and paper work, and memorization of facts.  Once introduced, the Stamp Game provides opportunities for individual practice.

Materials:  The stamp game has stamp sized flat, wooden squares that come in three colours: green (‘1’),blue (‘10’) and red (‘100). Each stamp of 1000 is green marked with ‘1000’.  The child uses a ruler, pencil and a gridded piece of paper to write the problem.

Procedure: The student starts by copying a mathematical problem on the stamp game paper. Starting with the units, the child lays down the amount of stamps for the number in the units place of the problem. They continue until they have made the number with the stamps. If the student is adding, they add more stamps based on the second addend. If they are subtracting, they take away the stamps based on the value of the subtrahend. When multiplying, the students put the stamps in the number of groups represented by the multiplier. When dividing the students divide the stamps equally among the skittles. They keeping adding to each skittle one by one, until they have used up all their stamps and count how many stamps each skittle received, to find the quotient. (Skittles represent one person or group). Then they record the answer onto the stamp game paper.