Use this game to introduce your students to the skill of trading before introducing them to the concept of place value and the language associated with it.
Based on the story of the three bears students must make a collection of a certain number before moving to the next bear.
(Baby bear is equivalent to ones, mama bear tens and papa bear hundreds, however they do not know this yet) Explain to students we want to get as many papa bear as we can as this is the highest number
We started with a magic number of '3', however you increase this number as the students become more competent and keep increasing until they are ready to trade with 10's and use the right language. Starting off with a small number allows for lots of opportunities to practise trading.
Students roll the dice and get that many unifix cubes out and place them into the baby bear column. If they have 3 then can join them together and make a 'mama bear' and put it into the mama bear column. Any left overs stay in the baby bear column until there are 3 and ready to trade.
Once there are 3 mama bears they can then be joined together to make a 'papa bear' and placed in the papa bear column.
You can get students to talk about what they have on their game board eg I have 4 papa bears, 3 mamas and 1 baby bear.
I spent a couple of weeks having 3 as the magic number before moving to 4 - having 4 baby bears to make a mama and 4 mamas to make a papa.
My students have really taken to this game and their trading skills have improves immensely! (not to mention it is really fun)