Math Problem Solving Game: Now or Later

Rated 4.8 out of 5, based on 3 reviews
3 Ratings
Amber Thomas
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
5 pages
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  1. Want to have a math games review day before standardized testing begins? My students love playing math games and mixing up classes with a partner teacher is a fun way to bring them together as a grade level. Check out these often forgotten skills and the games that will help them learn! ❶ LEAST
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I created this game to help my students practice making mathematical decisions and testing them out. This game is perfect at the end of a unit on adding decimals and helps students practice using number lines.

This game works well when pairing a stronger student with a student who needs more practice with the above skills. This is because winning is partly due to chance, not ability. The student who needs more support with computation skills/decimal concepts will be eager to see if they won each time, and is more motivated to learn from their partner in order to find out. The stronger student will be engaged because they will be trying to figure out the best strategy: "Is it better to save less money NOW or more money LATER?" They will start thinking about how the difference between the drawn cards are what determine the outcome.

►Make enough copies for each set of partners (if you have 28 students, make 14 copies).
►You might choose to glue the first page into file folders and/or laminate for durability.
►You might choose to print the number cards onto card stock for durability.
►You might ask students to cut out the number cards prior to playing.

Teaching tips:
►You might print the sample page onto an overhead sheet to read over with the students.
►Choose a student volunteer to be "James" in this scenario, and you can be "Kim."
►Act out the game play with your student volunteer.
►Assign partners to play and practice.

✨✨✨Are you looking for more ways to make math fun? I have a whole range of math games here! Check out these popular products✨✨✨

Least Common Multiple Dice Game
Estimation Dice Game
Prime or Composite Board Game
Greatest Common Factor Game
Decimal War Card Game
Decimals Matching Game
Coordinate Points and Ordered Pairs Game: Warship
Math Problem Solving Game: Now or Later

Total Pages
5 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
40 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. Older students might, depending on the context of the problem, transform algebraic expressions or change the viewing window on their graphing calculator to get the information they need. Mathematically proficient students can explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs or draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends. Younger students might rely on using concrete objects or pictures to help conceptualize and solve a problem. Mathematically proficient students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, "Does this make sense?" They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches.
Look for and make use of structure. Mathematically proficient students look closely to discern a pattern or structure. Young students, for example, might notice that three and seven more is the same amount as seven and three more, or they may sort a collection of shapes according to how many sides the shapes have. Later, students will see 7 × 8 equals the well remembered 7 × 5 + 7 × 3, in preparation for learning about the distributive property. In the expression 𝑥² + 9𝑥 + 14, older students can see the 14 as 2 × 7 and the 9 as 2 + 7. They recognize the significance of an existing line in a geometric figure and can use the strategy of drawing an auxiliary line for solving problems. They also can step back for an overview and shift perspective. They can see complicated things, such as some algebraic expressions, as single objects or as being composed of several objects. For example, they can see 5 – 3(𝑥 – 𝑦)² as 5 minus a positive number times a square and use that to realize that its value cannot be more than 5 for any real numbers 𝑥 and 𝑦.


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