Friday, June 25, 2010

Number Subset Game

I'm working on finding/collecting games to use during my workshop days (more explanation to come). ODE had a lesson where students would assign points to certain number subsets. I've adapted it so that 2 or more students could play as a game.

Supplies: a number cube, set of subset cards, paper, writing utensil

Each player writes 5 numbers. Player 1 draws a card and rolls the number cube. If the card is written in red letters, subtract the number rolled for each number that falls in that subset. If the card is written in black letters, add the number rolled for each number in that subset. Keep a running total of your score. Player 2 takes a turn.


Player 1: 3, -10, 2/3, 0, 100

Player 2: 3/4, 4.5, 1, -72, -2.3

Player 1 draws a red integer card and rolls a 4. He will need to subtract 4 four times (3, -10, 0, and 100). His score is -16.

Player 2 draws a black whole number card and rolls a 1. She will need to add 1 once (1). Her score is 1.

Repeat this process. The student with the highest score is the winner.

I'm hoping this a way to keep this vocabulary alive throughout the year.


  1. Love the game, but I'm confused on a couple of points: (1) What is written on the subset cards? I get that some are red & some are black, but what else? (2) What number does each player start with, like with Player 1, what did he subtract 4 from? Zero? Did he have to subtract 4 times because he had 4 integers in his list? (3) Are there any restrictions (or strategies) on the 5 numbers the player writes down to begin?

    Thanks for fielding my questions!

  2. Good questions.

    1) The cards are integer, whole number, natural number, rational number and real. I'm making a total of 20 cards. 10 red and 10 black. Each subset will be listed twice in each color.

    2) Each player starts with zero. Yes, subtract for each number that would belong to the subset.

    3) I randomly picked the number 5 and at least at first I'm not planning on restricting the numbers they write down. I'm hoping the students work out some strategies that they share with me.

    Hope that helps. I've never attempted the game so I guess we'll see how it goes and tweak accordingly :)


  3. Ugh! Just realized I left off irrational...

  4. This sounds like a game I would like to do with my classes and you've already answered all but ...
    What is ODE? Ohio Dept of Ed?
    Which lesson about number subsets?

    More info please. Thanks!

  5. Mary - ODE is Ohio Department of Education. There was once a collection of lessons one their website. I have been unable to access them lately. If I can at another time I will include a link to the lesson.