31derful - A Digital Icebreaker & First Day of School Activity for Perseverance

Grade Levels
5th - 12th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
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If you're looking for a perfect activity for the first week of school, look no further! 31derful is a game meant to exercise students' perseverance and meant to encourage groupwork norms in a math classroom. This activity also helps to wake up a sleepy "summer brain" by sneakily reviewing integer operations and mental math!

Traditionally, the game is played with a deck of cards per pair/group of students. Students pick 25 cards to arrange in a 5x5 grid. The goal is to make each column and each row add up to 31 (face cards are worth 10 points, an ace is worth 11).

Although doing the activity with real cards is a great tactile experience, let me tell you what a nightmare it is trying to keep multiple decks of cards straight...and it only gets worse over the course of a day if you'd like to do the activity with more than one class. Also, who has 10+ complete decks of cards laying around? I don't! (After one use, my decks of cards are normally messed up permanently thereafter.)

My solution? Make the activity digital! It has the same benefits, without the headache!

Tip: After letting students play for a while, let groups share out any strategies they have!

Note: Both the teacher and the students need to have a Google account (free).

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