Use dice or playing cards (1-9; Ace =1) and grid paper.
Take turns rolling two dice or picking two playing cards. The two numbers that are picked are used for the width and length dimensions of a rectangle. The rectangle can be placed anywhere in the grid paper as long as it does not overlap with another rectangle. Play continues until one player does not have a place for their rectangle. The picture below shows the start of a game.
Each player should have a 3 x 3 grid. In each box a number from 2 to 12 is placed. The same number can be used more than once. The goal of the game is to be the first person to have all of your boxes crossed off. Once all players have their boxes filled in, two dice are rolled. The two numbers are summed and all players check their boxes to see if the number appears in a box. Players may only cross one number off for each roll. For example, if a player had the number 6 in three boxes and a total of 6 is rolled, the player can only cross off one six. The picture below shows the start of a game with a sample board. The two dice continue to be rolled until one player has all numbers crossed off.
After playing the game multiple times, ask students what totals are more likely to be rolled. The image below has the number of ways each total can be rolled and the probability of each sum being rolled.
Small, Large, or Target
This game can be played by having players try to get the smallest number, the largest number, or be closest to a target number. This should be decided at the start of the game along with what operation will be used (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division). The number of boxes used in this game can be varied with 2, 4, 6, or 8 boxes. 10 playing cards are needed for these games (2-9 and Ace =1 and Jack = 0). Let one player pick one of the 10 cards while the cards are face down. After the card is selected each player needs to decide what box to place the number in. Once a number is placed in a box it cannot be changed. The selected card is then removed from the pile and another card is selected. Play continues until all boxes are filled with a number. Players then solve the problem and the winner is determined. The winner is based on what was selected at the start of the game. Either trying for the smallest number, the largest number, or being closest to a target number.
Christian, author, and professor of mathematics education.