Age level: Elementary, Middle School, High School
Description: Prime Climb is a beautifully-designed game that I originally backed on kickstarter, but am happy to share is now available on Amazon. This game of strategy is based on simple concepts in math but provides lots of opportunities for learners to discover mathematical patterns on their own. It is by far one of my favorite game releases of 2014 and is worth every penny!
Skills & Modifications: My biggest modificaiton for this game is to first introduce the gameboard without playing. I let learners look at it on their own to see what they can discover about the color-coding, but I also provide prompts as necessary. After they’ve had some time to explore the board, I introduce gameplay, but have each player play with only one die and I remove all the Keeper cards. Finally, once the learner has mastered those skills, I introduce the Keeper cards.
Addition/Subtraction/Multiplication/Division – On each turn, the player decides the most strategic way to move his/her pawns by adding, subtrating, multiplying, or dividing. One of my learners with Aspergers usually does not enjoy math activities, but she loves patterns and art. The design of this game was so engaging to her that she requests to play it often and gets much more practice with these basic math skills than she would typically get in a more straightforward math lesson, and she enjoys every minute of it!
Comparing Numbers – Part of the strategy of this game is looking at different options for moving a pawn and comparing numbers to make the best decision. Comparing numbers is a natural component of this game, and I love that it provides motivation for practicing this essential skill.
Prime Numbers – This is a fantastic introduction to prime numbers. All of the prime numbers over the number ten are encircled in red, making it very clear for learners which numbers are prime. When a player lands on a prime number, they get to draw a card. This simple feature of the game aids in quick memorization of prime numbers. I’m surprised by how quickly some of my students have memorized the prime numbers between 0-101 without extra practice. Plus, the way that color is integrated into the game to demonstrate multiplication further solidifies the understanding of what prime numbers are.
Pros: I cannot get over beauty and functionality of this game! The students I’ve introduced it to are constantly discovering new things through both gameplay and just exploring the board.
Cons: I really don’t have any cons for this game. You should be prepared to give your learners some time to grow accustomed to the layout of the gameboard, but otherwise it’s been a hugely successful addition to my math lessons.