Monday, May 19, 2014

Where Have All the Playing Cards Gone?

      As far back as I can remember, my family has played cards. Random memories include:
  • Playing Black Jack with my dad at age 4 or 5 in my grandmother's apartment in San Francisco (1967 or 1968)
  • Mother's bridge parties (1969 to 1975)
  • Playing Casino with my Nana while Merv Griffin hummed in the background
  • Winking, biting my lip, and raising my eyebrows to signal my Mus partner that I had something good
  • Spite and Malice with my sister anytime, anywhere. 
  • Flying and being given a deck of cards
  • Again at 4 or 5 crawling over to my Aunt Polly's sleeping bag to see if she was awake enough to play Cribbage at the first sign of summer light
We played other games too, Parcheesi, Chinese Checkers, Dominoes. My dad taught me Pinocle and Poker too. Don't you think this is where I began my love affair with math? And my parents were always in disbelief...I am not.

During our Probability unit in Algebra 2 I am amazed at how few students have experience with a standard deck of playing cards. They don't know about the four suits, the number of cards in the deck, how many of each suit there are, or even how to multiply by 13's. It seems such a part of my cultural literacy.

How have you translated "a standard deck of playing cards" with today's students? Is there some hip video game I am clueless about? Is there some new board game that is all the rage?

2 comments:

  1. We just gotta keep playing cards, cause they're such a cool thing to buy as a souvenir when traveling!

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  2. I start by asking questions. How many weeks are in a year? How many seasons are there? How many weeks are in a season?

    Then I start showing the parallels between these questions and a deck of cards (standard)

    I also had a chess and cribbage club when I taught upper-elementary a number of years ago. I also find that too many kids have no familiarity with cards.

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