Number Properties Clue Game

Number properties maths gameThis is one of a several very useful maths games based on ‘number properties’.

I first used this way back in the 1980’s; it is an ideal activity in that it puts the learning in the hands of the children and encourages good language (speaking and listening) skills and cooperative ‘play’.

 You will need a set of 1 to 25 cards and a set of ‘clue cards’ - see the downloadable file link below*.

Here’s the example:
Two children (Alison and Ben) work together, they sort the 1-25 cards into order and place them face-up on the table.

The first player (Alison) takes a set of four clue cards (pictured above), reads out each clue and guesses which single number the cards describe. On this occasion Alison decides the number will be '15', she explains to Ben why she thinks the number she has chosen is correct: "15 is higher than 12 and a multiple of 3".

Then, by working with each clue card in turn the children help each other to sort through the numbers until only one remains. For example:

Maths game - number properties

The fist clue card helps them to eliminate a large range of numbers. Now they only have eight possibilities left.


Identify that number - a mathematical game

The second clue card eliminates more numbers - leaving only four possibilities. At this point Alison realises she did not take this 'clue' into account when making her earlier calculations.


number properties - a math game

The next clue card is not so helpful - eliminating only one other number


maths game - clue cards

The final clue card reduces the number to only one choice. Alison and Ben discuss the outcome while they reassemble the 25 digit cards, Ben then choosed four clue cards for his turn.


 

Note: the four clues on each set of ‘clue cards’ have been designed to split the original 0-25 set until only one number remains. They can be used in any order (in fact it is a useful exercise for children who have just used a set of clue cards to reuse the same set in a new order... just to see what happens).

The downloadable pdf* file includes 10 sets of four clue cards and a set of 1-25 digit cards.

a mathematical clue game - free download

 

Credits – based on a series of ‘number properties’ games described by Dave Kirkby (Sheffield Polytechnic)

 


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69 Comments

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Mas's picture

Another simple yet highly

Another simple yet highly effective resource. Easily used as an oral/mental starter to keep things fresh and at allowing the children to take ownership.
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teachinginitaly's picture

Many thanks. A great

Many thanks. A great extension activity. :-)
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Goodwitch's picture

 Fabulous resource for a

 Fabulous resource for a newly fledged teacher - will enjoy playing this as a stand up game with Primary 3's and fours gradually working up to the full game. Thanks
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Another useful resource for

Another useful resource for the first few minutes of the day. I like to have activities set up so that they can do something meaningful during registration and so many of your games are great for this.
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yoyo123's picture

 another very good game, and

 another very good game, and can be adapted easily.   Woould it be possible to have instructions included in the pdf ?     
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johdu's picture

Thanks for the good feedback.

Thanks for the good feedback. We are now including detailed instructions with as many of our resources as possible. However, if you want to print out the details from the website itself to work the game, that's fine. I would highly recommend the Clearly extension for Chrome - it strips all sidebars and extra images away to leave just the text for you to print or cut and paste.

John

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porker's picture

 A nice variation on the

 A nice variation on the "guess my nuimber" game. Thanks. Could be used in reverse e.g.  my number is x who has the correct clue cards?
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calanda's picture

What a fantastic math

What a fantastic math resources! Excellent for getting the children settled at the start of a lesson and really getting them thinking!
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calanda's picture

What a fantastic resources!

What a fantastic resources! Excellent for getting the children settled at the start of a lesson and really getting them thinking!
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gepocock's picture

I am always looking for new

I am always looking for new ways to inspire my own taaching and to engage my KS3 SEN kids in active learning, as teachers of special needs - it can become all too easy to have low expectations and not make the activities challenging enough. Many thanks
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johdu's picture

Really good to hear

Really good to hear mathsticks maths resources are useful in KS3 as well as Key Stages 1 and 2. Thanks for the feedback.
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This will be a good resource

This will be a good resource for speaking and listening.  
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stulloch's picture

 Great! A quick and easy

 Great! A quick and easy resource. I plan to use this once a week to begin my problem solving maths lesson. A brilliant way to consolidate new maths vocabulary in a fun context. Thanks for this one!
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sueduffy's picture

Found this really useful with

Found this really useful with a weaker group of children during station teaching in 5th Class. The more able groups were using the number properties game that is listed before this one. This differentiated the activity nicely.
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lucyadams's picture

Very versatile. Eg use just 1

Very versatile. Eg use just 1 or 2 cards to start with for younger children.
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Mcuddihee11's picture

 I can't wait to try this

 I can't wait to try this with my students
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LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT, WHAT

LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT, WHAT MORE CAN I SAY
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ashlei_c's picture

your comment made me download

your comment made me download this game. I agree with you I LOVE IT!!
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lisajane's picture

I can't wait to try this with

I can't wait to try this with my class. Sounds great.
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Munazzah Najib's picture

this is a good extension

this is a good extension activity. you could just let the kids get on with this independently
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Munazzah Najib's picture

this is a good extension

this is a good extension activity. you could just let the kids get on with this independently
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suzimcp's picture

 fantastic resource, can't

 fantastic resource, can't wait to use it with my class
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madabout04's picture

I have been trawling the net

I have been trawling the net for a very long time downloading resources for my childrens school. I needn't of bothered, I should have come straight to you. I love your take on maths and learning! Thank you!
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johdu's picture

Kim, Many thanks for your

Kim, Many thanks for your kind comments. It is always good to hear that the maths resources here have been useful. I set the site up with the initial aim of offering mathematical games and activities that offered meaningful learning opportunities rather than 1001 worksheets to be constantly handed out. It's really refreshing to know that so many people share that view.

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This was a great game for

This was a great game for students that love challenges! My 6th graders loved it.
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Great activity - my class

Great activity - my class will enjoy the element of puzzling out which numbers they have used. Thankyou
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kha16460's picture

A great resource and easily

A great resource and easily adapted to create more examples of the same once the children have figured these ones out. Thank you for the idea as well at the resource!
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LisaLee's picture

This a fantastic and

This a fantastic and versatile resource whic I will use for group work (independent and with adults) mental starters and will be recommending that the 1-1 teacher uses this site for resourcing her groups.
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My top Maths group loved

My top Maths group loved these! Thank you!
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SS's picture

Thank you so much! Have just

Thank you so much! Have just stumbled upon this site and I am so keen to share tomorrow at school!
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