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TOS Review: Pyramath

I am always pleased to see fun methods of teaching and reinforcing mathematic concepts. In fact, I chose our current math curriculum because of the manipulatives and many game-based teaching methods it relies on. So I was eager to receive, for review purposes, a deck of the game Pyramath created by I See Cards. A deck sells for 6.95 and can be purchased www.iseecards.com

The Product
The Pyramath deck consists of 56 playing cards and an instruction card. It is meant for Kindergarten on up and is intended to be a one or two player game. Each playing card is brightly colored and has a number in the center facing both directions and the number written out along the edges in English, Spanish, French, Roman Numeral, Chinese and Arabic along with their translations.

On the box, Pyramath claims that playing this game kids learn: “Math Skills, Multiple Languages, Hand Eye Coordination”.  Playing Pyramath certainly is more fun than worksheets or flash cards and the number written in multiple languages is a nice touch that may expose a child to different languages. After giving it a lot of thought and seeing and playing the game, I’m still not sure how this game will teach a child hand-eye coordination.

How to Play
This game is similar to solitaire in that each player is building off the original five (or seven) cards that are laid out. From the instructions, “The objective of the game is to complete a pyramid using math operations multiplication, addition, subtraction and division.” A player picks up a card from the deck and plays it by laying it between and below two side-by-side cards. The card may only be played between two cards whose sum, product, dividend OR difference is equal to the number of the card in play.  Important to know is that the cards are all single digit numbers. Therefore if there is a 7 and 6 laying side by side, I’m allowed to play a “3” because there is no “13” card in the deck. I will admit that I was confused the first few times I read through the instructions. It’s not intuitive to me to consider leaving off the very important tens column in a math game.

My Thoughts
While it is a fun game for older children who are confident in their mathematic facts, I believe this game could potentially confuse certain children. When the answer is a two digit number, a child is asked to only think of the ones column because none of the Pyramath cards have two digits. (If an answer is “11”, the child would play the “1” card, if the answer is “14”, play the “4” card, etc) I would expect an older child could play just fine only considering the ones column; however, in the early elementary years, I believe learning ones, tens, hundreds and thousands columns is still too fresh in a child’s mind to risk confusing his current understanding of place value.

Pyramath is a unique math game and I could recommend it to students who are further along and confident in their understanding of place value in mathematics.

Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for my review and I received no other compensation.

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