The Unfair Math Game for Kids

Looking for a way to get all your students quiet and on task?  Try the unfair math game for kids.  All you will need is two sets of numbered cards, and a list of problems.  Ready to see why it is so unfair?

Setting Up the Game

Prepare two sets of numbered cards so that you have one for each of your students in the class.  You can download a printable sheet from GradeA here.  Put one "deck" aside - that is the cards you will draw from.  You will give each student one card from the other deck.  Each student will then be assigned the number that is on the card. 

Prepare a set of problems for the students.  The unfair math game for kids works especially well as a review activity for an upcoming quiz. 


Hint: You will also want to have the answers ready for easy checking!

Finally, you will need to prepare a few prizes - about 3 to 5.  You can always give out homework passes or extra credit points, but candy and/or baked goods work especially well.

Rules of the Game

Prizes will be rewarded to students for correctly answering a question they are assigned.  Students may win multiple prizes if there number is called more than once.  Students are not permitted to talk or share answers during the game.  Students that do so will forfeit their right to earn a prize.

Playing the Unfair Math Game

Begin by posting a problem on the board or overhead.  Each student is required to work on the problem quietly at their seat.  After enough time has gone by, choose a card, or have a student choose a card from your deck.  The student that has the number  on the card has won the opportunity to solve the problem. 

View the students work and ask him for his final solution.  If his solution is correct, he wins his choice of any of the prizes that you have available.  If his solution is incorrect, choose another card and give that student an opportunity to answer.  Repeat this until you find a student with the correct answer. 

Once the first prize has been chosen by a student, post the second problem.  Repeat the process until somebody has won the second prize.  Continue posting  problems and awarding prizes until all of the prizes are gone.  Do not forget to reinsert the cards of the winning students back into your deck.  After all, it is the unfair math game for kids!


Once all of the prizes have been taken, the next student to correctly answer a question has the option to steal a prize from any student.  Each student to subsequently provide a correct solution gets to steal a prize from any student that has one. 

Keep posting problems until the end of the period.  You will be amazed to hear your students say "hurry up, give us another problem."  When the bell rings, whoever has the prizes gets to keep them.  Of course, some students might complain that the game is unfair.  Fortunately, you have a great response:  "I know it is unfair:  it is the unfair math game for kids!"

  Like the unfair math game for kids?  Want to find more cool math games to play with your students?  Be sure to to view all of GradeA's resources - including free fraction, algebra, and geometry worksheets that can be used as problems for your game!



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