You only need a deck of playing cards for each of these addictive math games.
Deal Me a Full House!
Deal Me a Full House!
ALL ROADS LEAD TO TEN
Kids will practice: Addends of ten
How to play: Divide students into groups of four. The dealer passes out seven cards to each. (Face cards are worth ten, aces are one, and the rest are face value.) Students make piles of cards that equal ten (6 + 4, 9 + ace, 2 + 2 + 6, etc.). For every card they use as an addend, they get a new card. Then they repeat the process and see how many more piles they can make.
Kids will practice: Ordinal numbers
How to play: Remove the cards 1–10 from a deck and pass them out to ten students. Have the students line up in the proper order. Ask questions such as “Which place is Ben standing in?” and “Who is in the fifth position?”
LOVE NOT WAR
Kids will practice: Comparisons
How to play: Give each pair of students a deck of cards. Let the dealer pass out cards until they’re gone. The object of the game is to have the most cards by the end. For each round, you determine the rules (lowest card wins, closest to five, even number, etc.). Each student puts down one card, compares it with their opponent’s, and determines a winner. Whoever wins gets both cards. If both players have a winning card, put them into the “pot” for the next play.
Kids will practice: Adding doubles
How to play: Sort a deck of cards into matching pairs (two 3s, two 4s, two 5s, etc.). Set aside a pair for every two students in your class. (If you have 24 students, count out 12 pairs.) Now pass out one card to each student. Say, “Go!” and have students find their classmate with the same number. Invite each pair to read their cards as an addition equation, e.g., “Four plus four equals eight!”
Kids will practice: Odds and evens, mental math, number patterns
How to play: Divide students into groups of four, with one deck per group. Have the dealer pass out five cards to each player. Everyone should lay out their cards face up. Tell the dealer to make a pile of the remaining cards. The goal is to be the first to make “odd couples” using all five cards. To make an “odd couple,” students should choose one card at a time from the middle. Then they must add the number on that card to one of their five cards to make an odd-numbered sum. The first person to make five odd couples wins.
“LOVE” MEANS ZERO
Kids will practice: Subtraction
How to play: Pass out a playing card to each student. Write “10 - _ - _ = 0” on the board. Ask a student with a face card or a 10 to come to the front of the room. He or she will be the beginning of the equation. Let kids know that you want to get to zero using three cards. Ask another student to come to the front. Let’s say that student has a 7. So far, the equation reads 10 - 7 - _ = 0. Tell the students, “Raise your hand if you can finish this equation.” All students with a 3 should be waving madly!
YOU’LL LOVE THIS LINEUP
Kids will practice: Your choice!
How to play: When it’s time to line up, give each child a card. Then call them based on various math concepts, e.g., “If you have a number divisible by two, you may line up.” Or, “If five plus five equals your card’s value, you may line up.” What’s great about this game is that you can cater it to what you’re studying. —submitted by DeAnn Marie O’Toole