CECmath.56
TITLE: "24" Game
AUTHOR: Elinor Crecelius, Wyoming Girls School;
Sheridan, Wyoming
GRADE LEVEL: 5-12
OVERVIEW: Here is a game designed to review basic facts and
the order of operations in a fun, problem-solving situation.
I use it at the beginning of the period to warm-up and focus
on math.
OBJECTIVE: Students will use four digits obtained from
rolling four dice to create a mathematical expression equal
to 24.
PURPOSE: Basic facts are important to learn, but boring to
teach. This game has appealed to all of my students and has
stimulated them to use what they do know and master what
they don't.
RESOURCES/MATERIALS: Four dice, paper, pencils, and
calculators if desired.
ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES:
The first four students to class each get a die to roll
and call out the number. I record the four numbers on the
board. The students are then on their own to come up with a
way to reach 24 using any or all of the four operations.
For example, if 6,5,6, and 4, were rolled, one solution
would be:
4 x 6 / (6 - 5) = 24.
When a student has found a way, she writes it on the
board as a mathematical expression using the most concise
way to communicate her answer. When one way is found and
agreed to be correct, many are ready to quit looking. I
challenge them to find as many ways as possible to obtain 24
using the given numbers. No answer counts unless it is
written with the appropriate symbology. Although which
operation used is not restricted, each number must be used
only once.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER: This activity appeals to all levels.
If appropriate, the use of exponents can be added. for
instance, if the numbers 6, 4, 2, and 1 are rolled, one
solution would be, 1 to a power of 3(6x4). As well as
forcing a recall of basic facts, order of operations becomes
a point of interest, and the idea of math symbols being used
to communicate one student's thoughts to the rest of the
class is stimulating.