ASHEVILLE— Key School at Carolina Day School’s Ms. Vicki Hornowski leads her second-grade students in a series of multisensory math games that teaches automaticity, sequencing, strategy and teamwork.

“Brain Drain” is a game in which the kids display the brains images, with either numerals or coins on their foreheads. This game is an equalizer because it allows practice for those who aren’t automatic with their facts or coin value. Those students can be the designated caller, who tells the other two participants the sum of their digits or coins. The children who are more automatic with those concepts can then work from the abstract mode in supplying what their digit or coin must be.

“Pirates and Treasure Chests” checks students’ mastery of various concepts, such as calculating coin amounts, number patterns (20 more than 210, etc.) even and odd, reading and writing three digit numbers and other skills.

“It is a great game that students never tire of and the content can be applicable to a range of skills,” said Vicki Hornowski, Key School math teacher. “It also encourages teamwork and engagement.”

“Yam Slam” is a game that teaches a variety of math skills, including sequencing as students order their dice in trying to roll a small or large straight, seeing pairs in visual patterns, seeing patterns in three or four of a kind, etc. This game is another equalizer as weaker students with more complex mental math challenges can shine as they rely on strategy as they play. This game also teaches automaticity in addition as students add their points. This often involves regrouping at the abstract level as the students calculate their total value as their chips are earned. “Yam Slam” is a game in which all students can feel successful at every level.

Key School at Carolina Day School’s approach to learning transforms students with language-based learning differences into high achievers and confident, capable learners. Learn more about Key School at Carolina Day by attending a Key School Open House for grades 1-8 on Thursday, February 18 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the Key School office. Space is limited. To reserve a spot please call Lynne Pennington at 828-210-9158 or email

Click here to get Multisensory Math resources for your own young student!

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