A version of this numbers game is played on the popular television program, Countdown (called Letters & Numbers in Australia).

**Game Objective:**

To make the target using some (or all) of the given numbers and the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

**Materials:**

Large numbers (100, 75, 50 and 25) and small numbers (1 – 10), two of each.

**Summary:**

- A player nominates the combination of 6 numbers they would like to select, e.g. 1 large and 5 small or 2 large and 4 small numbers, etc.
- All players must use these numbers
- A target number is generated between 101 and 999
- Players use some (or all) of the numbers and any of the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) to reach the target number (or get as close as possible)
- Each number in the list can only be used once
- Division can only be used if the result is a whole number (no fractions are allowed)
- The winner is the player closest to the target number

**Variation:**

- A timer could be used to increase the challenge (in the television program players are given 30 seconds)
- Scores could be given depending on how close players are to the target number
- Players could attempt to find as many solutions as close to the target number as possible

**Resources:**

There are several online versions of Countdown style games:

]]>**Level:** Year 3 – Year 5

**Description:**

Many children find subtraction to be challenging. Sometimes this is because they have trouble with common terms, such as less than or difference. Other times it is related to difficulty with counting backwards. To further support children it is important to practice subtraction skills by playing simple games and activities and also learning more about strategies, including the jump strategy, the split (or partition) strategy, compensation and the count-up to strategy (sometimes called the Shopkeeper’s method).

**List of Resources:**

**This activity covers the following Australian Curriculum – Mathematics Content:**

- Recognise and explain the connection between addition and subtraction (ACMNA054)
- Recall addition facts for single-digit numbers and related subtraction facts to develop increasingly efficient mental strategies for computation (ACMNA055)
- Apply place value to partition, rearrange and regroup numbers to at least tens of thousands to assist calculations and solve problems (ACMNA073)

]]>

The idea for this game was initially based on the book, *How many? A counting book* by Christopher Danielson. In this book, each page includes an interesting image and readers are simply asked the question: How many? No other information, like how many objects? Or how many eggs? is provided. This allows readers to make up their own mind as to what part of the image to count.

**Materials:** Picture Prompt

**WALT:** Identify quantities and explain our thinking

**WILF:** Accurate counts of quantities and clear explanation of thinking

**Summary:**

- Students are shown a picture prompt
- Students identify quantities in the image and explain thinking
- For example, I see 13 triangles, or I see 5 yellow shapes
- These suggestions are then checked, and further suggestions are shared

**More Information:**

**Players: **2 – 6

**Materials:** Pop sticks/ craft sticks (large preferred)

**WALT:** Identify the number from the clue on the stick.

**WILF:** Understanding that numbers can be represented in different ways.

**Summary:**

- Teacher creates a set of Kaboom sticks
- Some sticks have clues (related to the topic) and some sticks simply have the word ‘Kaboom’
- Place sticks in a jar so what is written on each stick is hidden
- Students sit in a circle with the jar of sticks in the middle
- Student takes turns to choose a stick
- After choosing a stick the student must identify the number from the clue
- If the student is correct, they keep the stick, if not the stick is returned to the jar
- If a student chooses a Kaboom stick they must return all their sticks to the jar
- Play continues around the circle.

One of the benefits of this game is that the clues on the sticks can vary depending on the topic or ability level of the students. Some ideas could include, numbers, number names, dots, fractions, times or measurements.

**Online Version:**

Use the spreadsheet below to play an online version of this game.

- Leader opens the spreadsheet
- Select the level of challenge
- Press F9 to randomly generate a fact
- If the student correctly identifies the fact they score one point
- Play continues around the group of students
- If on a student’s turn the word KABOOM appears that student loses all their points
- Play continues until the leader ends the session
- The student with the most remaining points is the winner

This game is a variation of the numbers game played on the popular television program, Countdown (called Letters & Numbers in Australia).

**Game Objective:** To make the target using the numbers on the four dice

**Materials: **Four dice

**WALT:** Use our knowledge of numbers and the four operations to create the target number

**WILF:** Understanding of how numbers can be made using different operations

**Summary:**

- Teacher selects a target number
- Four dice are rolled
- Students need to try and make the target number using the numbers on the four dice and any operation
- For example, if the dice numbers were, 6, 2, 3 and 4, and the target was 24, a solution could be, 6 x 2 + 3 x 4 = 24

**Variation:**

- The target number, number of dice and type of dice (6-sided, 9-sided, etc.) can be varied to modify the difficulty
- A point or tallying system could also be developed where solutions could be sorted by the number of dice used
- A random number generator could be used to generate the target number and the dice rolls

**What is Buzz?**

Although there are possibly alternative rules played across the country, the basic set-up of the game Buzz is that all students in the class stand up. The teacher will nominate a number, for example 5, and students will begin counting forwards be one going around the room (or circle) with each student saying the next number in the sequence. When students arrive at a multiple of the nominated number, instead of saying the number, the student will instead say “Buzz!”. If students either miss the count or say the number instead of saying “Buzz!” they are out of the game and need to sit down. Play continues until one student remains or the count reaches a given end target.

For example, the initial sequence of responses in the game described above would be:

**What is the problem with Buzz?**

- Students must quickly recite the number sequence aloud, replacing some numbers with the word “buzz’
- This process is confusing for students with limited understanding of the number sequence or knowledge of multiples
- Students who make errors are eliminated

**How Buzz can be improved?**

- Rather than saying “buzz’ on selected multiples students could say the correct number and perform an action
- For example, for multiples of 5, students could place their hands on their heads
- Access to a counting chart or number line could be provided
- All students can now hear and see the correct number sequence

**Alternative Games**

The following alternative games allow students to practice their ability to recall the number sequence and identify multiples of numbers, but do not penalise students for suggesting incorrect answers.

More information about the game Buzz and possible alternatives can be found in the PDF below.

]]>**Level:** Year 2 and Year 3

**Author: **Anna Bock

**Description: **The focus of this activity is to allow students to continue a number sequence from any starting point. This can be a challenge for some students, by using counters or some materials to create the number sequence prior to recording may help students as they will be able to see what the number pattern looks like.

**NEXT TEN **

**Materials: **Counters, dice, pen, paper or whiteboard and marker

**Instructions:**

- Roll one die, this is the starting number
- Roll the other die that is the interval
- For example, rolling a six and then a three write 6,9,12,15 etc. for the next ten numbers in the sequence on the paper or whiteboard.
- Counters can be used to create the number sequences to support with recording.

**FURTHER INFORMATION**

**We want students to: **

- Create number patterns with different starting points and different intervals using
- Make their pattern using materials
- Record their pattern using numbers

**Notes for parents: **This activity allows students to explore a range of number sequences from varying starting points. Using materials supports with identifying what the number sequence looks like. This activity can be repeated many times and will increase children’s confidence with number sequences.

**This activity covers the following Australian Curriculum – Mathematics Content:**

**Year 2**

- Investigate number sequences, initially those increasing and decreasing by twos, threes, fives and tens from any starting point, then moving to other sequences (ACMNA026)

This activity has been modified from Growth Point Activities, Addition & Subtraction Strategies, Catholic Education Melbourne, 2010

**For any questions or queries please contact: ****choosemaths@amsi.org.au**

**Level:** Year 2 and Year 3

**Author: **Anna Bock

**Description:**

The focus of this activity is to encourage students to measure, order, compare and check the mass of a range of objects using hefting (holding something to test its mass) or formal units of measure.

This activity can be repeated many times as the object chosen will be different every time and the way students measure the items may also be different. Students learn to measure by measuring so it’s important to provide them with a range of experiences to engage with these skills.

**Materials: **Choose five objects to measure e.g. book, an apple, packet of biscuits, a ball, a pencil or any other objects you can find, balance scales or kitchen scales

**Instructions:**

- Think about which of these objects has the least mass and most mass.
- Compare the masses of your objects by hefting.
- Which of your objects is the lightest?
- Which object is the heaviest?
- Arrange your objects in order from lightest to heaviest.
- Use a set of scales to check if you are right.
- Draw your objects in order from lightest to heaviest and record their measurements

**We want students to:**

- Estimate the mass of a range of objects by using what they already know about the objects they have chosen and how heavy they may be.
- Use hefting to compare the mass of the objects they have chosen.
- Order objects from lightest to heaviest.
- Check the mass of their objects using scales.

**Notes for parents: **Initially using estimation and hefting to measure allows children to focus on the language associated with measuring, for example heavier, lighter, heaviest and so on, this will help them when comparing the mass of objects.Eventually children will move to formal units of measure, the standard unit of measure for mass is the kilogram. Using a range of scales will help children with measuring in formal units.

**This activity covers the following Australian Curriculum-Mathematics Content:**

**Year 2:**

- Compare masses of objects using balance scales (ACMMG038)

**Year 3:**

- Measure, order and compare objects using familiar metric units of length, mass and capacity (ACMMG061)

**For any questions or queries please contact: ****choosemaths@amsi.org.au**

**Level:** Year 9

**Author:** Marcus Garrett

**Description:**

In this unit you’ll get the chance to use mental, written and calculator methods to calculate percentage changes in practical, everyday situations. The AMSI Interactive will take you through how to calculate percentage composition problems, problems involving money and how to use the ‘unitary method’ to solve problems involving percentage increases or decreases.

This unit includes an *AMSI Interactive* called ‘Percentages’.

**Australian Curriculum (Mathematics) Outcome:**

- Solve problems involving the use of percentages, including percentage increases and decreases, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA187)

**Resources:**

**Materials: **Post-it notes or stickers

**WALT:** Use our knowledge of numbers to identify the unknown number

**WILF:** Understanding of the number sequence and the relationship between numbers

**Summary:**

- Place an unknown number on each students’ back
- Tell students the number range, e.g. all numbers are between 0 and 100
- Students walk around the room and ask other students questions in order to identify their number, e.g., Is my number less than 50?
- To support students this game can also be played ‘celebrity head’ style