ZQUALS BASIC - Printable Math Game to Reinforce Addition Facts and Number Sense

Creative Rebel Teacher
Grade Levels
K - 3rd, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
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Creative Rebel Teacher


ZQUALS (pronounced zee kwals, kinda like equals with a z)

How many ways can you ZQUALS?


How to play ZQUALS Basic game here: https://youtu.be/8OgH1RktqUA

How to play ZQUALS Advanced game here: https://youtu.be/idClvAU2HWQ

ZQUALS is a math card game that reinforces number sense and math addition facts during game play. Combine cards in your hand to add up to or ZQUALS to the number on a space. Fill as many numbered spaces as you can. Yell “ZQUALS, ZQUALS, ZQUALS” as fast you can. Add the number on the spaces you fill to your score. Game ends after all the spaces are filled. Highest score wins.

It’s quick to learn, quick to play, and gameplay is different every time!

Why it’s different:

Kids get busy scoring points, unaware that they’re learning simple addition facts, number sense, and strategy! The more you play, the more you learn. 

Shhh! Don’t tell the kids that.

This printable of the Basic ZQUALS game will keep your students engaged and excited about math this year! This game focuses on Mental math addition and is aligned with Common Core standards in the Operations and Algebraic Thinking domain. Because students get excited about the competition from earning points, they tend to take more risks—and, in turn, learn from their mistakes. Allow students to make in-the-moment decisions that let them quickly see the impact of their choices in a low-risk setting and then try (and try again) if they falter — these are skills that are valuable as they go through life. Gamification of learning” leverages game design features and mechanics to deliver math curriculum in a playful way.

Teachers, adjust the difficulty of this ZQUALS game to your students by adjusting how many game board spaces to set out. You can stretch your students' skills by making this a quick game to play as a recap before teaching other math concepts. You can print multiple copies for your class to make kids play in small groups of four or you can have kids team up and play in teams of 2 so they can collaborate and come up with math facts together.

This game is highly adaptable to your teaching style. Here are some fun prize ideas you could implement in your classroom: a prized Hero Zero card (included in printable), stickers, pens, homework passes, lunch time with a friend, lunch time with teacher.

The Advanced ZQUALS game (separate purchase) focuses on Mental math addition, MULTIPLICATION, AND DIVISION concepts and is aligned with Common Core standards in the Operations and Algebraic Thinking domain.

  • Reinforce math fluency with a game. 
  • REINFORCE Number Sense.
  • De-emphasize the rote memorization of math facts.
  • Allow your students to test and learn their math facts and number sense while playing the game ZQUALS. 
  • Students learn math facts while playing a game.
  • Encourage powerful mathematics learners who use numbers with fluency
  • Use manipulatives to enhance students’ understanding of mathematical concepts.
  • Speed is not important. You can take as much time as you want to decide what you want to do on your turn.
  • Help kids visualize Math. Help them think deeply and creatively.


More about the game:

I created this math game to supplement my child's learning at home. Initially, I created it just to help my daughter master mental math addition facts. Early in 2022 while I was quarantining at home with her I realized I could modify my simple math game and make it more fun while exploring the concepts of subtraction, division, multiplication, and strategy. I've tested my game ZQUALS (pronounced zee-kwals) with kids and adults and it's a hit. I'm proud to share it with you here on TpT. I hope it brings some joy to your classroom.

Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation.


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