I was recruited to help a middle school student who is having a very rough time at this time in his life. It was shared with me that he likes Marvel superheroes and he is struggling with counting money and multiplication. Below are some ideas I presented for a test run and photos of the items I ordered for these suggested activities.

For multiplication

Put the heroes (or villains) in groups of 2 and have him count out 4 groups and compute. Use different groups and number per group. (IGNORE the numbers on the cards)

Get a group of 10 villain cards. Pretend heroes have to travel in groups of 2 and ask how many groups to get 10 heroes to fight the 10 villains. (IGNORE the numbers on the cards). Variations of this.

After gets the idea of groupings, focus on the number on the cards and show him two 5s and have him compute. Variations of this.

Play a game where he draws two cards and has to multiply the cards (start with very low numbers or maybe show him a 2 card and he has to pick another card to multiply by 2.


For Money

Tell him he earn money to buy these figures, one at a time – a monetary version of a token economy. Have him rank them by his favorite to least favorite and come up with a price for each with his favorite figures costing more. Start with the least favorite and make the price such that with a little practice he could count out the coins to pay for it. Maybe 17 cents with dimes and pennies. He has to count out the money correctly and independently to actually buy the item.


Other options

If he needs work with addition you can play WAR in which 3 cards are played and each person adds to find the total. For subtraction do the same with 2 cards.

You can play subtraction in which one person has superheroes and the other has villains. In order for a villain to win a villain card has to be higher than a hero card by 3 or more.
