Why play this game?
At a basic level, this game provides an opportunity for children to become more fluent in addition. In order to try to win, learners will need to think ahead and this element of strategy demands higher-order thinking. Stepping back to analyse the number of numbers used offers yet more challenge and the chance to generalise in terms of addition of odd numbers.
Show the picture of the bags of numbers
on the interactive whiteboard and explain the rules of the game. You could suggest that you play against the class, or two children could play, or you could split the class in half to play in two teams. Either way, use the board to record the numbers chosen and the running total. Play again in
this way, once more recording the numbers selected and the totals.
Give learners time to play in pairs several times and to record their games as they go along. Then, bring everyone together and ask each pair how many numbers they chose in each game. Record these on the board. Referring to the largest number of numbers and the smallest number of numbers, ask the children whether these are the largest and smallest possible
them off on this challenge and at a suitable point, open it out into trying to find all the number of numbers in between.
In a plenary, you can record the number of numbers made on the board, all the way from seven (7+7+7+7+7+1+1) up to thirty-seven (thirty seven ones). What does the group notice? Why is this the case?
How do you know that you can't use more numbers to make 37?
How do you know you can't use fewer numbers to make 37?
What do the numbers 1, 3, 5 and 7 have in common?
The problem Make 37
follows on nicely from this game and offers an excellent assessment opportunity for you.
Encourage children to use apparatus to help them with the addition if that is where they are struggling. A calculator could be useful if you want them to focus on the analysis rather than the calculations. Learners might like to play Totality
before trying this game.