TITLE: Number Tick Tack Toe:
A Math Game for Primary Grades
AUTHOR: Ann James, Klawock Elementary; Klawock, AK
GRADE LEVEL: 1st - 3rd
OVERVIEW: As surely as the sun rises and sets, kids will
Learn how to play tick tack toe. They do not have to be
Taught the game. Kids learn it the way they learn jump-rope
Rhymes and knock-knock jokes. Yet, kids lose interest
Quickly because tick tack toe is not challenging enough.
There are only about a dozen different outcomes. by
Changing the rules and symbols slightly, you can give the
Game new life while giving students extended practice in
Basic addition and subtraction facts.
1. Students will practice basic addition and subtraction
Facts to twelve.
2. Students will use high level thinking skills to win at
The game of tick tack toe.
RESOURCES/MATERIALS: Students will simply need lots of
Scratch paper and pencils.
ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES:
1. The class will need to be divided into pairs.
2. Each pair makes a standard tick-tack-toe grid.
3. Instead of using X's and O's, students use the numbers
0 through 9. Use numbers 0 through 12 for a greater
challenge. Each number can be used only once during a
4. The object of the game is to complete any row, column,
Or diagonal so that two of the three numbers add up to
The third. The order of the numbers does not matter.
5. The first move may NOT be in the center. (If the first
Player is allowed to make that move, he or she can
Always win the game.)
6. The second and subsequent moves, however, can be
Anywhere on the grid.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:
There is not any sure fire strategy for winning this
Type of tick-tack-tow game. Likewise, there seems to be no
Advantage in going first. The games, however, tend to end
With a winner rather than in ties.
Most losses result from carelessness. It's easy to
Make a mistake after four or five numbers have been played.
That's when the game requires close attention, higher level
Thinking skills, and accurate adding and subtracting.
The game is far more complex than tick-tack-toe in that
There are thousands of outcomes. The one constant is good
Number facts practice in an enjoyable context.