Age Level: Upper Elementary, Middle School
Description: Double Shutter is based on a game created during the 17th Century in Normandy, France. Players roll the dice and add up the dots to shut the tiles of their choice. The tile total must match the dot total in any combination you want. The goal is to shut all the tiles, but if you roll the dice and can’t shut any tiles, your turn is over.
Skills & Modifications: I vary the game based on the current skill level of each player. Click on the Snapguide below to see the steps I use to introduce the game and shape appropriate play.
Addition: There are no modifications needed for addition because the dice have dots the player can count. I can’t say enough how great this game is for practicing basic addition.
Base-Ten: Having a fun way to practice composing and decomposing numbers is wonderful. If my learner rolls a 3 and 5, but the 3 and 5 tiles are already knocked down, then they have to figure out which tiles also make 8. For learners who struggle with this, I may use visual cues, or ask a leading question such as “Hmmm. What can we add to 6 to make 8?”
Peer Play: One of my learners loved to play this with her sister. She enjoyed the anticipation of seeing what numbers would be rolled next and also loved comparing scores. Many learners with autism may struggle with using this game for peer play because the time between the end of his/her turn and the next turn can be long. However, a variation of the game is included in the instructions that allows for faster turn-taking.
Strategy: Because there are two rows of numbers, there are several strategies a player might employ. I might play the game with them with a new goal to teach a strategy. Strategies may include “knock down the red tiles first” and “try to knock down more than two tiles in one turn.”
Pros: I love that the game is within a box so the dice never go rolling off the table. It’s a simple little thing, but it allows for fast gameplay without breaks in the game. But the best part of this game is that all the students I introduced it to were able to play and get much-needed practice with addition while having a blast.
Cons: None that I can think of. You really can’t beat high-quality, easy-to-use materials like this!
Ideas for extending the lesson: A great follow up to this activity is using number mats to practice the same skill. For more information, click here.
Cost: $19.99 You should invest in this game if: you are an elementary math teacher, you are seeking fun ways to practice addition with your learner, or you have a learner who is highly motivated by dice games or numbers.
ABLLS: A19, K15, R9
VB-MAPP: Math 15
**Double Shutter was provided to me for free by the company Blue Orange to write about here. This did not influence my opinions on the game. The thoughts and ideas above are all my own.