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probability - digit card gameThis is a simple digit card game to help children practice mentally addition and subtraction strategies.

The fun maths game uses only 10 digit cards (numbered from 1 to 10 and works with a group of 4 - 5 children.

One child (let's call him Daniel) mixes all of the cards and hands each of the other children in the group a card, face-down.

Daniel is the only one in the group without a card. He says, "Go!" and all of the others hold their cards face outward so that everyone else can see the digit on their card but they cannot see their own digit.

Now, Daniel must mentally calculate the sum of everyone's cards, and then announce it to the group.

The remaining children then look around the group at everyone else's cards and use mental subtraction strategies to try to find out what card they have. For example, five children each have a digit card. The sixth player has told them the total of all the five digits is 21... Jilly now looks at the four digit cards she can see (not her own):

teaching maths - using subtraction strategies in a simple maths game

Jilly's card is a 5.

The other four children make the same mental 'deductions'. Note: in real play the children should not mention their calculations aloud - they could write their thoughts on a mini white board, or simply explain their strategies at the end of each round.

Extension - with just three players the game could be used to reinforce multiplication and division strategies. Two players show their digits, the player without a card multiplies them and anounces the product. Each player must then use the one digit they can see (a factor) to calculate what their digit (the other factor) is.

headbanz children's game

 

We have used this teaching activity for lots of different concepts across a range of subjects. It was inspired by a much earlier version of this simple Hedbanz Game for Kids [Amazon affiliate link].

The Hedbanz game itself is ideal for promoting discussion and therefore a great way to develop speaking and listening skills.

 
 


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edwhitty's picture

Thanks. This looks like a

Thanks. This looks like a great maths game that can be used in many ways.
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millieharrison's picture

 Fantastic! Again could be

 Fantastic! Again could be adapted for more able to practise adding and subtracting decimals. Share out 5 decimal cards - caller adds up the cards on show- others do the same and work out what their card must be.
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johdu's picture

That's a very useful

That's a very useful adaptation - thanks for sharing.
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longhawn01's picture

I am going to use some cheap

I am going to use some cheap paper crowns to stick the numbers two and call the game Kings and Queens.....my year 1's love a bit of dress up and it will stop the children "cheating" and looking at their cards.  
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Thanks, a lovely idea! I was

Thanks, a lovely idea! I was looking at the headbands and wondering whether I should go to the trouble of doing something similar. Then I saw your suggestion and . . .Voila! Problem solved!
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annamcangiano's picture

Thank you! That's a brilliant

Thank you! That's a brilliant idea! I'm going to let my Year Ones decorate some paper crowns as they come in tomorrow morning as a settling activity and then we'll play the game.
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Caroline Fletcher's picture

marvellous idea for a game

marvellous idea for a game thanks
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johdu's picture

That's great - I love your

That's great - I love your 'regal' adaptation.
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ltgoheen's picture

 This is just what I was

 This is just what I was looking for! Simple yet very useful! It will get the students thinking!  
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ajones002@smcohuna.catholic.edu.au's picture

 I am definitely going to use

 I am definitely going to use this one!
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repreecedawson's picture

Looking forward to trying

Looking forward to trying this with my new class in September.
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MathTeacherLady's picture

 I look forward to modifying

 I look forward to modifying this activity for my wee ones.  I think that they will have fun trying to figure out what their mystery number hat is.   
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claircayling's picture

This looks like a great

This looks like a great activity. I am wondering if this would work using fewer numbers, my group would struggle to add 5 numbers but may be able to add 3.  I will give it a go.
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This is a great idea. Will

This is a great idea. Will definitely try this with older children but my current year 1s would probably struggle. Really good game though.
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maths's picture

Excellent!

Excellent!
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