For Mid-Week Math Motivation this week I wanted to share a game my students really love to play. It is perfect to keep them working on order of operations, positive and negative integers, and mental math skills.
Deck of Cards
Dry erase boards and markers
Create the highest (or lowest number) with a set of 4 cards
Face Cards: Kings = 20, Queens = 15, Jacks = 10, Aces = 1
Of course you can make these whatever value you would like, or eliminate them. I use these numbers because I want my students to practice mental math skills when we play, and these numbers are easy to work with.
How to Play:
When we play this game black cards are positive integers and red cards are negative. Students shuffle the deck and split the cards evenly in the group. The game is best served with 2-4 players.
Each student deals four cards from the deck. They use any set of operations they choose to create the highest or lowest number possible. I allow my students the use of a dry erase board and marker. They have to write the equation they created to prove they have the highest (or lowest) number. We use a calculator to check answers as needed.
The winner takes all of the cards from the round. The game winner is the person with the most cards.
I really love that even younger students can play this game. It can easily be modified for younger grade levels by limiting the integers to only positive and/or limiting operations. Students can also get help by using a positive and negative number line. They could be allowed to move the cards or limit them by keeping the cards in order. Even as I'm creating this post I'm thinking of how I can incorporate new skills next year by having my students physically walk the number line in my classroom. It would be a great way to have a class math battle, and an easy five or 10 minute filler or brain break.
How do you keep your students motivated about math? I would love to hear from you!
Have a great day!