Why do this problem?
In these games, students have the opportunity to practise adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers in an engaging context.
As students become hooked on the game, they may also like to explore winning strategies (or more realistically, a strategy that improves their chances of winning) and consider the probability of getting different numbers.
Teachers may find it interesting to read the NCETM Mathemapedia Entry:
This printable worksheet may be useful: Playing Connect Three
In this problem there are two games; the first uses dice with positive numbers, and the second uses dice with a mixture of both positive and negative numbers.
The games could be introduced using an interactive whiteboard or projector, and inviting two volunteers to play.
After the introduction students could play in pairs at individual computers, or this worksheet
could be printed for students to play away from the computers.
can be used to simulate throwing the two dice in the second game.
Are there some numbers that we should be aiming for? Why?
Are certain numbers easier to 'cover' than others? Why?
Do certain numbers contribute to more winning lines?