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A Math activity on Place Value




1, 2  

Kyle Yamnitz

Terri Muensterman

Sheila Brune

Title: The Plus and Minus Game

Topics: Place Value, Addition and Subtraction

Grade Level: 1-2




–Plus and Minus Game Handout and Evaluation Letter to the Company Handout

Description of Activity:

Begin by explaining that a company made a game for children which they need to test to see if it is a fair game and if people will purchase it. Students will play the game and then evaluate it for the company.

Place students in pairs and pass out the game sheets. Teach the students the rules of the game followed by a demonstration of a couple of rolls of the dice and the results. First, decide which student will be player one and player two and record these at the top of the game sheet. The student with the first birthday of the year will be player one. Each student will roll one die ten times and on each trial the numbers will be recorded. The highest number wins on each trial. If player one wins, the player will add the two numbers from the dice and this will be his or her score for that trial. If player two wins, he or she will subtract the lower number from the higher number and that will be player two’s score for that round. Record all scores on the game sheet and circle your answers to each trial. The losing player for each round should record a zero for his or her point total for that round. If the players role the same number, then a zero is recorded for each player. At the end of the ten trials, add the circled answers for each round and the player with the higher number wins.

Following the game will be a discussion on students’ opinions of the game. Ask who won the game and what player number they were. Also ask if they had any trouble adding their numbers up to get the total. Question students on the strategies they used for adding all these numbers. Several other questions should follow:

–If you were to play the game with someone you didn’t know, which number

would you like to be?

–Why does player number one always win?

–What is the highest score player number one could get in a single round?

–What is the highest score player number two could get in a single round?

–Did you like the game and would you purchase it?

After you have discussed these questions with the class, give them the evaluation

letter and ask them to write a letter to the company describing their opinions of the game


Tank, B. (1996). Math by all means: Probability grade 1-2 (A Marilyn Burns replacement unit) . New York: Math Solution Publication.

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