2018 Summer Game #13: On the Number Ten

It is one of those blazing hot, 90º summer days. No one wants to be outside but without air conditioning, inside isn’t much better. My boys’ solution to this dilemma is the nice, cool basement where the computer happens to reside. In my desire to get stuff done, I readily agree to let them play a computer game. You moms know where this is headed, right? Sure enough, one too many arguments break out and I banned the computer and we decide to play math card games under the shade of the big tree. 😊

First up, On the Number Ten, game S25 in the Math Card Games book. After shuffling the basic number card deck, using half the deck and no zeroes, then dealing four cards to each player, we were ready to go.

The goal is to be the person who makes the row of cards total 10. But there’s a catch…. The row must first exceed 10 and then be brought back to 10 by playing a negative card, represented by turning the card sideways.

Here two cards have been played and Peter plays a negative 6 bringing the total to 13; 10 + 9 + -6 = 13. Yes, this could be viewed as subtracting 6, but adding a negative number is a wonderfully new perspective.

Ian then plays a negative 5 which makes the row equal 8.

Then Chiara wins that row by playing a 2. Remember, sideways cards are negative and “regular” cards are positive.

The game continues until all possible cards are played. Peter walked away with an impressive win!

Next, we played a more challenging and exceedingly fun game, On the Number Negative Five, game S28. The goal now is to make the row equal a -5. Yes, that is a negative 5. Negative cards can be played only after the row totals a positive 5.

Peter found it hilariously funny to run up the total as the rest of us tried desperately to get to -5. When we got close, he would take the score well below -5. Sometimes he’d even forget he could have completed the row himself! This gave him (and the rest of us) fantastic practice working with negative numbers.

Finally, we got to -5!

After a few lost rows he said, “Maybe I should take this a little more seriously. But it’s just so fun!” Needless to say, the grumpiness of a hot day ended in laughter and great memories.

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  1. Sounds like a game we want to try!

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