This week we played a math game that I made up, somewhat on the spot (my best ideas always seem to come this way), that turned out to be really fun. The students were in teams working through problems in math. When their entire team completed the work and showed they understood the problem, they got to play the game. It was a quick and exciting brain “break,” with math snuck into it, of course! A support teacher in my class named it “The Equalizer” because any team, no matter how many questions they completed, had a chance of winning. Seriously, it got crazy! My students are not very familiar with negative numbers but this was a simple introduction to them. With the basic use of a number line on our wall, they calculated their scores pretty easily.
Here’s how the game works…
- Get three different colored dice. I happened to have green, white and red at school. You could also number the dice or use one die and just roll it three separate times.
- Roll the red die.
- Roll the white die and subtract the white die amount from the red die amount. Sometimes this produces a positive number and sometimes this produces a negative number.
- Roll the green die.
- If the green die is even, your score for that round (red die minus white die) doubles. *This is wonderful if you had a positive number but it’s a huge disappointment if you had a negative number.*
- If the green die is odd, your score for that round (red die minus white die) clears to zero. *This is wonderful if you had a negative number but it’s a huge disappointment if you had a positive number.*
- Keep a running list of the scores for each round and add them together at the end.
That’s it! It was fast-paced, exciting, and quite the toss up in terms of who was in the lead at various times.