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An Arithmetic lesson that uses decks of cards




2, 3  



Sarah Blumenthal

Grade Level:

Second or Third

Name of Activity:



– a deck of cards per three students


1. Place students into groups of three students per group.

2. Have two students sit facing each other, while the third student
sits so they can see the other two students (like in a triangle

3. The two students who are facing each other are the
guessers They both choose
one card from the deck (excluding the face cards) without
looking at the card.

4. Then the third student says "SALUTE" and
the two guessers then put their card up
to their ear/head so that their opponent can see. Making
sure that they cannot.

5. Now the two guessers can see each others’ cards and the third
student looks at both of the cards as well The third student tells
the two guessers what the sum of the two cards is.

6. Since the players can see the other person’s card but not their
own, by knowing the sum – – they can figure out what the
other card is by using subtraction.


1. Lisa Paten (1996).

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