Secret Number


Posted by katiek | Posted in Games, Number | Posted on December 3, 2014

This is a quick tuning in game where students try to guess a “secret number” that a nominated person has selected.

1. Choose a student to come out the front.

2. Using a whiteboard ask them to choose a number and record it so that it cannot be seen by others.

3. The student with the “secret number” then gives a clue. Eg, “My number is between 0 and 20.”

4. Students are then asked to think of a clue to narrow down what the secret number is. Eg, “Is it lower than 15?”

5. The  student with the “secret number” then responds with a full sentence. Eg,”No , my number is not lower than 15.”

6. This continues until the “secret number” is revealed.

* Remember to encourage use of Mathematical language such as lower than, higher than, inbetween, double, digit.

*Insist that the students answer in a full sentence at all times.

Ways to support:

  • write clues on whiteboard.
  • Use hundreds chart and physically mark off numbers.


Ways to extend:

  • use higher numbers, decimal numbers and fractions.
  • Set a number of clues. Eg, “This time see if you can guess in 4 questions.”

Four Operations Card Game


Posted by Miss Cardona | Posted in Four Operations, Games | Posted on December 3, 2014

This game was a game I learnt from a Michael Ymer P.D.


Resources needed:

– 1-2 die (depending on level of student to how many sides e.g 6, 10 etc.)

– dice mats (1 per person and 1 to roll the dice on)

– pack of cards between a pair of students (joker is wild card and ace is 1)


Students are to find a partner and get one dice mat each and one to roll the dice on, 1-2 dice (depending on the level) and 1 pack of cards. Students are to remove all the picture cards except for the jokers, they are a wild card and can be worth any number. Students are to shuffle the cards and then deal out 8 cards face up each on their mats. Students are to roll the dice and are to use their cards on their dice mats to equal that number using any operation (will depend on level). For example if the student rolled a 4, they may do 8-4=4. They need to verbalise this too. If they get it correct the get to keep the cards. They then replace the cards they use with new ones form the deck. The student with the most cards at the ends win.


-students use x or /

– Get students to use as many cards as possible when answering the question


“Maths Runners” game by David Shaw


Posted by MissMcKellar | Posted in Games, Number | Posted on December 3, 2014

I was excited to find this challenging number and strategy game in a recent Double Helix CSIRO magazine.

The blurb reads:

A race with a difference! Roll two dice and choose you calculations. Sometimes, the best move is clear; but often, a slower, smarter move will get you to the goal first!

You will need: two dice (six or ten sided) and a counter for each player.

Students need to make their way from Start to Goal by choosing the most appropriate operation given on the square they land on. Each space has a combination of the following options:

  • Choose the die showing the largest number
  • Choose the die showing the smallest number
  • Add the numbers on the two dice together
  • Subtract the smaller number on the die from the larger number
  • Multiply the numbers on the two dice together

Our students quickly learnt that advancing by the largest number isn’t always the best option, as there are arrows to set you back ( a la snakes and ladders) if you choose the wrong number!  As well as advancing their mental maths skills, they also focused on strategy and thinking ahead about what the next few moves could be.

Year4 used this as a tuning in activity for number based sessions, and often request to play it if they complete other work early.



Four operation turnover


Posted by lisar | Posted in Four Operations, Games | Posted on October 29, 2014

A game using all four of the operations. An opportunity for students to develop strategies for solving the four operations or working on their automatic recall of number facts.

Materials Needed:

* Two six sided dice

* A set of number cards per player numbered 1 – 12.

To Play:

This is a two player game.

1. Students set up by arranging their twelve cards in order on their playing surface, facing up.

2. Play one rolls the two dice and decides on an operation. They may add the two digits, subtract, multiply or divide (will not work with a remainder). After choosing the operation. They turn over the number card that is the result. eg if  a 2 and 5 was rolled and the player choose to add, 2+5=7, the 7 card would be turned over.

3. Students continue with this taking in turns.

4. Once a card is turned over, it can not be used again. The aim of the game is to be the first player to turn over all 12 cards.

operation turnover operation turnover2

Heads and Tails


Posted by lisar | Posted in Chance, Data, Decimals, Fractions, Games, Percentage, Statistics | Posted on September 30, 2014

A whole class game of chance

Discuss the possible outcomes if you flipped two coins (heads and heads, tails and tails, heads and tails)

Prior to flipping the two coins, students stand up and predict the outcome. If students predict heads, heads – they place both hands on their head. If selecting heads, tails – they place one hand on their head and one on their lower back. If selecting tails, tails – students place both hands on their lower back.

After flipping the coins, students who were incorrect sit down. Keep playing until one student is left standing.

Data and Statistics

Results throughout the game can be recorded and used to calculate a fraction, decimal and percentage for each outcome.



Posted by lisar | Posted in Chance, Decimals, Fractions, Games, Percentage | Posted on September 30, 2014

Using a deck of cards. Allocate each corner of the room with a suite (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs). Take out four cards of each suite from the deck giving you 16 cards in total. Record on the board the number of cards for each suite using tally marks.

Students then choose a corner to go to.

Draw out a card from your pile of 16.

The students in the corner that matches the suite of the card drawn out are out and move to a designated area. Rub out a tally mark for that suite on the board. The card drawn out is put aside, it does not get returned to the pile.

Students then move to a new corner and a new card is drawn out. Continue playing until you have a winner.

During the Game

After each round discuss the chance of each suite being drawn out using language appropriate to your students. If appropriate, work out the chance as a fraction, decimal and percentage.

Discuss strategies for corner selection with the students.

Money Warm up Games


Posted by lisar | Posted in Games, Money | Posted on September 30, 2014

What coins do I have in my pocket?

Select some coins prior to the game and place them in your pocket or a container where students cannot see them. Tell students the total amount you have. On paper, students record possible coins and notes that make the amount you have. After a given time, students share their ideas. After sharing, reveal the coins you have in your pocket.

How much do I have in my pocket?

In this variation, students are told how many coins but not the total amount. Students brainstorm possible combinations of coins and amounts.

The change is ….. how much did I spend?

In this more challenging variation, students are told an amount you received as change. Students then brainstorm possibilities for how much you may have spent and what note or coin you used to pay for it.

Paddock Arrays


Posted by lisar | Posted in Games, Multiplication | Posted on September 30, 2014

Materials Needed:

*One sheet of grid paper

*Two 10 sided dice

* Two different coloured pencils

This game is played in pairs

Students take turns to roll the two dice. The numbers rolled are then multiplied together. The player who rolled, colours in an array using their coloured pencil onto the grid paper and record the equation.

The game continues until the page is full. The player who has covered the most area wins.

Target 1000


Posted by lisar | Posted in Addition, Games, Number, Place Value | Posted on August 22, 2014

A game using place value and addition

The aim of the game is to end up with a number the closest to 1000. (Target number can be changed to 100 or 10,000 etc)

To Play:

* 2 or more players

*Each player will need to rule up their own game board.

* 6 or 10 sided die

target 1000 001


1. Players take it in turns to roll the die. Each player can decide whether they will place the digit they rolled in the hundreds, tens or ones column. And right the total. Each player records this on their own game board.

2. Players roll again and once again determine the digits place value. This number is added to the number from roll one to get a new total.

target 1000 003


3. Play continues this way until each player has had 7 rolls each. If a player reaches 1000 before the 7th roll, they must continue to roll and add to their total.

target 1000 004


4. The winner is the player with a total the closest to 1000 after 7 rolls (it does not matter if their total is under or over 1000).

Operation Battle


Posted by lisar | Posted in Addition, Division, Games, Multiplication, Subtraction | Posted on August 22, 2014

A game that can be played using any of the four operations

To Play

* 2 Players

* A deck of cards

1. Decide which operation players will be using and whether the winner will be the player with the highest or lowest score.

2. Each player turns over two cards each and performs the operation chosen using the numbers on their two cards.

3. If players have chosen to aim for the highest score, the player with the highest score takes all four cards.

4. If players have chosen to aim for the lowest score, the player with the lowest score takes all four cards.

5. Players continue until one player has all the cards or the player who has the most cards at the end wins.

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