Draw 5: A Math Game

Got extra time on your hands before your next transition time? It never fails that I would have some extra time to fill during the day. Maybe it was the 5 minutes before we went to lunch or the 10 minutes before dismissal. I needed something to do during that time. I was introduced to this game years ago at a PD offered by my district where a Ball State professor was presenting. I don't remember what she called it at the time, but I've always called it Draw 5 with my students.

The game is not hard for students to understand nor is it hard to implement. You just need a deck of cards and some scrap paper. I had a set of jumbo cards I got at a novelty shop, but you can use a regular set of cards or even a virtual set online. 

Take all the face and 10 cards out of the deck as you will only be using the 2-9 cards. 

You will draw 5 cards from the deck as your "playing" cards (8, 9, 2, 5, 6) and a 6th (4) as your answer card. Since I used the jumbo cards, I set them on the tray of my whiteboard so students could see them.

Students then use the playing cards to come up with different combinations of getting the answer card. With the cards above they might use 6-2 = 4. Students get points for each of the playing cards they use. So in my example the student would have earned 2 points. They try to come up with as many different combinations and points that they can in the allotted time period. 

This game can be used for a wide range of grade levels depending on your student's skill level (maybe use partners in the younger grades). While using it with my 5th and 6th graders, they often would incorporate brackets and exponents to get the correct solution. 

While I always had my students use scrap paper, I have created a recording sheet to help your students get started with this game.

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    Once our time was up, I would have my students tally the points that they received for all of their combinations of problems. I would call the top scores up to check their work. The person who earned the most points was awarded bonus points in the gradebook, but you could give them anything for being the winner.

    This was always a hit in my classroom as the students enjoyed a little competition. I hope your students enjoy it as much as mine did!

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