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Integer Addition Games

There are several highly effective math games which can deepen children’s understanding of integer computation and help them make sense of the concepts underlying the addition of integers. These three games would be appropriate for fourth graders, fifth graders, and sixth graders.

Integer Addition Match

What you need:
2 or more players of equal skill level
regular deck of cards (Jack = 11, Queen = 12, King = 0)
(red cards are negative numbers, black cards are positive numbers)

Players divide the cards evenly between themselves and place them in a pile face down in front of themselves. Each player then turns over one card at the same time. Players must add the two numbers. The first player who says the correct sum out loud collects both cards.

Example:
Player #1 turns over a red 8.
Player #2 turns over a black 3.
-8 + 3 = -5

When the piles are used up, players count their cards. The player with the most cards wins.

In the event of a tie, both players turn over one more card. The first player who says the correct sum out loud collects all 4 cards.

Integer Addition War

What you need:
2 players
regular deck of cards – remove Jacks, Queens, and Kings
(red cards are negative numbers, black cards are positive numbers)

Players divide the cards evenly between themselves and place them in a pile face down in front of themselves. Players turn over two cards each and add them.

Example:
Player #1 turns over a red 5 and a red 2 (-5 + -2 = -7) Player #2 turns over a black 3 and a red 4 (3 + -4 = -1)

The player with the greatest sum collects the four cards. In the event of a tie (i.e. both have the same sum), each player lays down two more cards and adds them together. The player with the largest sum takes all 8 cards.

When the piles are used up, players count their cards. The player with the most cards wins.

Variation: Play 3 addend addition with cards still holding positive and negative values.

Salute Integers Addition

What you need:
2 players or 2 teams of two
standard deck of cards – face cards removed
Red is negative. Black is positive.

Shuffle deck and place face down in center of table.

Player #1 turns over the top card and places it face up on the table.

Player #2 draws a card and does not look at it. Player 2 holds the card above his or her eyes so that player #1 can see it.

Player #1 combines the 2 cards mentally and says the sum out loud.

Player #2 listens and decides what his or her card must be and says that number out loud.

Esample:
Player #1 turns over a red 8 and both players see it.
Player #2 picks up a card and, without looking at it, puts it on his head so that only player #1 can see it. It is a black 4.
Player #1 says, “-8 + your number equals -4”.

Both players decide if the response is correct. If it is, player #1 gets 1 point.

Players reverse roles and play continues until one player or team has 10 points.

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