Sunrise students have fun(ds) with math in life-sized board game

Kiley King knew she was just holding pieces of green paper, not real money, as she traveled the life-sized board game Thursday at Sunrise Elementary School.

But it still hurt to have to break one of her two $10 bills.

“I lost!” Kiley, 9 said with a pout as she moved to a purple spot on the floor. A fellow fourth-grader playing cashier handed her back her other $10 plus two dollar “bills” in change.

The chance of losing is why Gabe Miller-Marshall, 10, said he prefers being the cashier to walking the board in the money addition and subtraction game.

“Playing is harder because you have to know how many,” he said, waving a fistful of bills. “And you lose money. And there (at cashier), you don’t lose money. You get money, and you give money back.”

Students rolled dice and marched around the colored spots, pulling cards labeled with a certain amount of money and then adding or subtracting the amount depending on their spot color.

Fourth-grade teacher Danae Stanfield developed the game with the help of high school students from Albany Options School, which is right across the street. The two schools have collaborated on a number of events in the past few years, and this is the second year for the math games.

Thursday marked the third visit to Sunrise this year by students in Danny Corliss’ probability and statistics class and Katie Agee’s Spanish class.

On the first visit, the older students played a bingo game in which

the fourth-graders had to figure out an addition or subtraction problem using money and then find the answer on their bingo cards. The second time, the two groups collaborated on a memory matching game, with one set of cards writing the money terms in numerals and the other set showing pictures of the correct bills and coins.

Math standards for fourth grade include practice in adding and subtracting money as well as measurement and data collection, Stanfield said.

It’s also fun to watch the interaction between older and younger students, she added. “I’m really proud of both sides.”

In their own classes, the older students use dice games to study probability and statistics — but a little extra practice on the basics never hurts, Corliss said.

“One of the best ways of learning the subject is teaching it. They’re getting that reimbursement,” he said.

Jennifer Moody is the education reporter for the Democrat-Herald. She can be reached at 541-812-6113 or


Education Reporter

Load comments