Summertime here in Texas means VBS. For those that may not know, VBS stands for Vacation Bible School. My children are too old to attend, so we help with the program. This year, I was the decorations coordinator. I find it a demanding position because I am in charge of ALL the decorations throughout the whole building.

Our theme this year was Galactic Starveyors and, as you may guess from the title, we decorated with a lot of stars and planets. I had the lovely task of untangling the stars and planets given to us from another VBS group. These stars and planets were attached with fishing line and paper clips so it was a lot of fun… NOT! Once untangled, I separated them into like groups so I could see what I was working with.

Dividing the groups into equal amounts per room was the best way to go. Then, with the remainders, I could figure out how many to put in the bigger areas and on the doors. I did the same with the planets. Here is a picture of one of the large hallways.

This week’s game is a division game called **Remainders,** game D8 in the Math Card Games book. This game is best with 2 to 4 players. Make sure your child has a mastery of the multiplication facts before playing this game.

The *quotient* (Latin word for how many times) tells how many times the divisor goes into the dividend. The *remainder* tells how much is left over.

Division answers one of two questions. It discusses either the size of the groups or the number of groups. For example, let’s look at 12 ÷ 3. It can be seen as 12 cookies shared equally among 3 VBS friends; 4 cookies for each friend. It could also be seen as the number of plates needed for 12 cookies with 3 cookies on a plate; 4 plates are needed to put the cookies on.

What if we had 13 cookies? What happens to the remainder? Do we split the 13th cookie? Do we need another plate for the lone cookie? Remainders play an important part in division, as well as life. This game will help children become more aware of remainders.

Now, this next part sounds a bit confusing, so pay attention. You will be using all the Multiplication Cards that are less than 11 times the divisor. So, for example, if the divisor is 6, the cards must be less than 11 × 6. You will NOT have any multiplication cards that are 66 or larger. You also should not have any number less than the divisor, 6 in this example.

How do you know what the divisor is? Simple. You get to pick it! Your divisor must be a number between 2 and 10. It may be good to get a sticky note or a piece of paper and write it down so everyone will remember. We picked 6 to be the divisor for this game.

Everyone gets four cards. Replace the card when played, so there’s always four cards available.

The object of the game is to have three cards in a row with the same remainder after being divided by the divisor.

The first player starts a row by laying down any card.

Now we have 21 divided by 6 is 3, with a remainder of 3.

So this first row can only have cards laid in it **IF** the remainder is 3.

Only one card may be played in each turn, so now it’s the second player’s turn. The second player can either lay a card in the row started or he can start a new row. Since he doesn’t have a card that would give a remainder of 3, he starts a new row.

14 divided by 6 is 2, with a remainder of 2. The second row can only have cards laid in it **IF** the remainder is a 2.

The first player is able to lay down in this row with a remainder of 2.

The second player can’t play in either row, so he starts a third row.

What do you notice about this card? There is NO remainder. This means that the third row will have a 0 as the remainder.

The first player is able to play a card on the middle row with a remainder of 2.

Because this is the third card played on that row, the first player wins that row and takes those cards. Wahoo!

Did any of you see the pattern on the row with remainders of 2? They are all even! As you play, you will see some interesting patterns develop…..

Remember that 10 to 15 minutes of playing a game is equivalent to doing a worksheet. Games are more enjoyable and games give the child a great way to apply what they are learning.

Happy playing!

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