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This motivational Mad Minute Team Relay game builds both social and math skills




2, 3, 4, 5  

Title – Mad Minute Relay

By – Johnny Orgovan

Primary Subject – Math

Grade Level – 2-5

Duration – 20 minutes


    In this fun variant of the twenty-year-old Mad Minute, students learn timed math facts in a team environment. Math problems can be any single operation problem (ex: + – X / ). For multiplication and division use numbers up to 12 X 12 or 144/12. This game was designed as a fun motivational and team building game. It was not designed to replace the traditional Mad Minute or any other math fact learning device, merely to supplement them in a fun way.


    Motivate students to learn math facts while developing their teamwork skills.


  • Students will work in teams to answer math problems and to develop good social skills.
  • Students will answer math problems to learn math facts.


  • timer
  • pen
  • paper


  • The students are split into two or more teams. Each team receives one sheet of problems.
  • When the teacher says BEGIN, a five-minute clock is started.
  • Student #1 on each team begins working on problem #1. After that student is done, the sheet is passed down and the procedure repeated. Each team goes around three times.

    • I generally get as close to 30 problems on one sheet as possible. This may vary depending on class size.
    • Example: if you have 12 students you break it down 12/6 then 6 x 5 = 30, and that works out even. In other words, for 12 students, number the problems 1-6 and have the students go around five times.
  • Additional Rules:

    • No conferring between teammates until the end.
    • If there is time left on the clock, teammates check the answers.
    • If sheets are handed in before the time limit expires, the team cannot take it back to continue to work on it.
    • Most correct answers win.


    Each team will be required to check the answers they came up with. The team with the most correct answers wins.


    Obviously, the game is not fun for anyone if one struggling student works on one problem for the entire five-minutes. If you run into this situation, then encourage a “good guess” and remind the students that the team will have an opportunity to check all the work at the end. Alternatively, you could allow the teams to skip problems. Tell them that a good team strategy would be for each student to answer the hardest problem that they know and leave the easier problems to others. This would encourage everyone to learn the “hard” facts and instill pride in everyone for the hard fact that they answered quickly.

Note from

    In the course of preparing this lesson for publication, we learned that Mr. Orgovan is a very interesting individual. He is actually a singer/songwriter who wrote this variation after hearing about the Mad Minute from a teacher friend and finding out from his own research that there haven’t been any variations written for it in twenty years. If you use it in your classroom, Johnny would really like to hear your feedback on how it went.


Johnny Orgovan


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