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Math Games

The goal of our presentation was to present new ways to teach the standards that are engaging
and fun for students. We also hoped to help teachers find ways to modify the games to fit
their classes’ needs. Our session gave teachers the chance to learn new games and to see that
many modifications can be made simply by talking to a colleague or two.

We began both sessions by playing the game “Greedy” to get everyone actively
engaged. We then adjusted each session to accommodate the needs of the teachers that
were present. In the first session, which included more elementary and fewer high school
teachers, we then played “Build It” and discussed several different standards that could
be taught using this game. “Exponent Ball” was next, followed by “Integer Baseball
Multiplication.” Good discussion followed with suggestions to use the baseball game to
also teach, practice, and/or review integer addition and subtraction as well. For the last
part of the session, we demonstrated “Name That Number” with a practice hand.

In the second session we moved on to more of the algebra standards since our audience
was involved in teaching those. “Slope- intercept Form \Standard Form Concentration”
was well-received and a good discussion was entertained about standards could be met
with this approach. Also presented were “Angle Golf,” “Angle Memory,” “Slope-Off,” and
“Fishin’ For Triangles.”

Each participant received a folder that included the rules , special game cards, score
sheets, and game boards for all the games presented in the session, as well as some
additional games. The games and some of the Indiana Academic Standards they addressed
included:

• Greedy: This is a probability game. As the teacher rolls a die, students keep a running
total on their scoresheets. They may choose to stop at any point before the die is
rolled. If a 2 is rolled, all students who have not stopped will lose all of their score.
(Grade 8 Standard 8.6.6 Understand and recognize equally likely events.)

• Build It: Students deal out fraction cards and then play a game to arrange them in
order from the smallest to the largest. (Grade 7 Standard 7.1.2 Compare and order
rational and common irrational numbers and place them on a number line.)

• Estimation Squeeze: Players pick a number less than 600 that is not a perfect
square. Players use a calculator to try and estimate the square root of their
partner’s number. (Grade 7 Standard 7.1.6 Understand and apply the concept of
square root .)

• Exponent Ball: Using dice, students play a football game, where the roll of one
die is the base number and the second is the exponent. Using a table on the
gameboard, players determine the amount of yardage their token will move based
on the numbers that they calculate from their rolls. (Grade 7 Standard 7.1.1 Read,
write, compare, and solve problems using whole numbers in scientific notation.)

• Integer Baseball Multiplication: Using cards with the numbers 1 to 10 in two
colors (one for positive integers and one for negative), players draw two cards and
multiply the given numbers. Using a table on the game board, students determine
if they have scored an out or a single, double, triple, or home run. (Grade 7
Standard 7.2.1 Solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems
that use integers, fractions, decimals, and combinations of the four operations.)

• Name That Number: Using an Everyday Math deck of cards, players try to reach
a target number by adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing as many as
possible of the five cards they have been dealt. Variations on the game are also
provided, using positive and negative cards, using the numbers as exponents and
finding the square root, and using grouping symbols to change the order of the
operations. (Grade 7 Standard 7.3.4 Evaluate numerical expressions and simplify
algebraic expressions by applying the correct order of operations and the properties
of rational numbers.)

• Slope-Intercept Form/Standard Form Concentration: Using cards with equations
written in either slope-intercept form or standard form, students turn over
two cards at a time to try and form matches of equivalent equations . (Algebra I
Standards A1.4.3 Write the equation of a line in slope -intercept form. Understand
how the slope and y-intercept of the graph are related to the equation.)

• Slope Off: Using the ace through six cards and the jokers from a regular deck of
cards (one color is negative and the other positive, and jokers represent zero),
students draw four cards and use them to create two ordered pairs. Students
then race to determine the slope of the line created by the two points. (Algebra
I Standard A1.4.2 Find the slope, x-intercept, and y-intercept of a line given its
graph, its equation, or two points on the line.)

• Angle Golf: Students draw angles, estimate their measures, and then compare
the estimates to the actual measures. (Grade 6 Standard 6.5.1 Select and apply
appropriate standard units and tools to measure length, area, volume, weight, time,
temperature, and the size of angles.)

• Angle Memory: Using cards with different angle measurements, students turn
over two cards at a time to look for complementary or supplementary angle pairs.
(Grade 6 Standard 6.4.1 Identify and draw vertical, adjacent, complementary, and
supplementary angles and describe these angle relationships.)

• Fishin’ for Triangles: Using cards with different angle measurements, students play
a version of “Go Fish” in which they try to get three angles whose measurement
add up to 180 degrees. (Grade 6 Standard 6.4.4 Understand that the sum of the
interior angles of any triangle is 180º.)

• One: Players roll two to six dice of two different colors. One color represents
positive numbers and the other negative numbers. The dice are rolled, and
students work individually or in pairs to create number sentences that equal one.
(Grade 8 Standard 8.2.1 Add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers in
multi-step problems.)

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